Since discovering Leif's music a few years back, I've looked forward to the day I'd see him live. Last night, St. Patrick's Day 2022, was the night. Leif is back on a big tour, and thankfully he was booked into a cool small Phoenix club called Valley Bar - a speakeasy style venue that's accessible from a downtown back alley off Central Avenue, down a flight of stairs. Really cool vibe.
Leif hails from Montreal, Canada, and his whole essence as a musician is infectious. He pours his heart & soul into his performances. You see him lost in the music, closing his eyes, waving his head - the same kind of soul-shaking moments at the piano and keys you'd see from Ray Charles. And that voice man.. soulful, smooth with that ever so slight raspy-ness. Just gorgeous to watch and hear live.
The night was spontaneous, straying from the set list for moments like Prince's early 80's B-side "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore" (maybe in response to a fan in the front row who was wearing a Prince shirt, as Leif pointed out).
As the pandemic decides to subside a bit for now, it's intimate live moments like this I'm so glad to have back - a chance to stand 20 feet from a great musician, watching it happen in the moment.
Leif's song "Transatlantic Flight" is one that resonates most with me. I captured it all here.. enjoy.