July 18th, 2014 | Photos

Photos and words by Michelle Shiers
Last night Robert Francis & The Night Tide packed the Troubadour. Opened by Francis’ guitarist Maxim Ludwig on vocals and Francis on drums as well as singer/songwriter Vikesh Kapoor, and The Bootstraps, the crowd was warmed up by artists of a similar heart-on-sleeve ilk and folky voices. Each one of them was more than appreciative to have toured with Francis and to be performing at the ‘legendary Troubadour.’ When Robert Francis took the stage with his backing band, it was clear this was the music of someone heavily influenced by love, loneliness, and gorgeous sunsets (not to mention maybe at least a little influenced by having Chili Peppers’ John Frusciante as his early guitar teacher). Opening with the song “Darkness,” Robert expressed his unique style of americana-folk and having therapeutically written and released his 4th album Heaven in June, he has restored his passionate spirit. “Keep On Running,” “Ukiah,” and “One By One” – featuring Francis’ sister Carla on harmony, were all unique tracks but still united by Francis’ seductive and forceful baritone voice. “Star Crossed Memories” called Francis’ other sister Carla on stage for a more country-soaked number. After that, The Night Tide left the stage as Francis asked “Can you bring the lights down to a romantic dark hue?” He then introduced his next song saying, “I liked the flock of seagulls and Def Leopard and that was what I wanted to do and then I grabbed the guitar and this song came out so this was like my first real song that I ever wrote.” The song, “Little Girl,” was the most touching and stripped-down track of the evening but the one with the greatest fan-response was “Junebug” – a female-friendly clap-along that posed as a worthy closer. The band returned for one encore of “All Of My Trains” which included both sisters and two kids on stage for backing vocals. Robert Francis’ honest music is truly an emotional mix of cerebral and original indie-folk that kept old and new fans at the Troubadour captivated “from the last thing that he spoke to the very first line.”