Jon McLaughlin Kicks-Off 2021 Holiday Tour at Dakota
The motivating purpose behind most nationally touring band performances is to promote new music, which pop rock singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin does have with new album All the Things I Say to Myself, scheduled for release November 19th. Regardless, inspiring Holiday cheer was more important to McLaughlin during his November 11th performance at Dakota in Minneapolis, which was the first night of his 21-city Holiday tour. The solo nature of this show perfectly suited the venue, which gave it a living-room like feel, elevated by the opportunity to pair it with a fine dining experience.
Foremost, McLaughlin is an exceptionally skilled pianist who knows how to extract plenty of wow-factor from the instrument, but it’s how he’s also developed all parts of his vocal range and grown to be very good at audience interaction that has earned him the distinction of being a complete all-around entertainer. He organically incorporates plenty of humor throughout the show, like joking about how fans might enjoy him playing upbeat Christmas music as a refreshing departure from his more typical selection of moody breakup songs, but then launching into a breakup themed Christmas song, Christmas Time is Here (But You’re Not).
For the piano enthusiast, an instrumental version of O Christmas Tree was an attention grabber with a jazzy feel feeding off a Ragtime groove that contained an incredible descending run McLaughlin executed flawlessly multiple times. His vocal talent was most dynamic during The Christmas Song and he utilized This is Christmas to get the audience involved by inviting everyone to sing along. McLaughlin did make time later in the set to include 3 songs off his upcoming release, fueled by current single Why it Hurts.
He closed with a 2-song encore consisting of a jazzed-up version of Jingle Bells and then grabbed an acoustic guitar for a totally unplugged version of Hallelujah This Christmas.
Feeling Like Christmas
Merry Merry Christmas Everyone
Christmas Time is Here (But You’re Not)
This Is Christmas
O Christmas Tree
The Christmas Song
A Breakup Song
Why It Hurts
Outta My Head
Christmas Saved Us All
Hallelujah This Christmas