Monday, May 15, 2017

Christopher Cross at City Winery

Before becoming a singer-songwriter and solo performer, Christopher Cross (born Christopher Charles Geppert) played in a cover band in his native San Antonio, Texas. He made music history when his 1979 eponymous debut album earned him five Grammy Awards including—for the first time ever—the four most prestigious awards: Record of the Year (for the single “Sailing”), Album of the Year, Song of the Year (also for “Sailing”), and Best New Artist. Two years later, "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," won him an Oscar and a Golden Globe award. Over a course of a few years, Cross' early albums produced nine Top 20 hits and sold more than 9 million albums. His 10th and most recent album is 2014's Secret Ladder. After decades in southern California, Cross now lives in Austin, Texas.

Early in his performance at City Winery tonight, Cross performed "Sailing" and "Never Be the Same." He then explained that he hoped to showcase lesser-known songs from his entire career. While his most familiar tunes seemed to be the most skillfully crafted, the remainder of his set was also tasteful and pleasant. Cross sang higher than typical male vocalists, rendering a unique timber to his songs, and his lead guitar licks were equally impressive. Backed by a small band, Cross proved to be more rocking than one would explain from an Adult Contemporary artist. Most of his songs were accompanied by slide shows, some of which breathed more depth to his lyrics, particularly "Think of Laura," about a college student killed by a stray bullet, and "We Will Remember You," a tribute to those who serve in the military. Although his music does not get the attention it commanded 35 years ago, Christopher Cross is still a fine live performer.

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