Review: Craig Cardiff’s Concert in The Study

Acoustic guitarist returns to LU to play a small, intimate show in LU campus coffee shop

By: Brady Coyle, Staff Writer

Sarah McPherson

Sarah McPherson

A small audience gathered in The Study last Wednesday night to enjoy the gentle, emotional acoustic stylings of Craig Cardiff. The Waterloo native put on an entertaining performance that included plenty of storytelling and interaction with the audience.

“I thought that his discussions during the show were amazing,” says Meghan Drake, an Outdoor Recreation student who attended the concert. “He’s hilarious and if he didn’t talk throughout the show we wouldn’t get to know anything about his personality.”

Mr. Cardiff, on a dark stage, lit up by nothing more than twinkle lights wrapped around the microphone stand, played his soothing style of music, focused on relationships and love.

Adding depth to his show, Mr. Cardiff shared the origins of each of the songs he played and engaged with his audience, taking requests, as well as asking for stories from individuals and couples in the audience.

While The Study offered a smaller venue, the audience enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and nature of the show, and it allowed for a more intimate, interactive relationship with the performer.

“I thought the small audience added to the show,” says Ms. Drake. “Craig was able to talk to individuals in the audience, and after the show it wasn’t a big deal to go up and talk to him.”

The peak in conversation that Mr. Cardiff had with his fans was when he questioned a couple on the details of their relationship. After a five-minute, somewhat uncomfortable, conversation about the couple and their past, Mr. Cardiff made up an impromptu song about how they met and about their relationship dynamic, using answers they provided.

While the couple seemed awkward and shy with all the attention to begin with, the song he created provided some comedic relief and cut the playful awkwardness that was lingering in the room.

It was an entertaining night where Mr. Cardiff opened up about the people he has met while travelling and playing show, the venues and gigs he has played and the cities he has experienced. While providing the background to the lyrics of his songs, he allowed the audience to understand and interpret more of a story from his music and get more of a grasp on what inspires him.

There were many in the crowd who had never heard of Mr. Cardiff prior to the show, including Ms. Drake, and he did not disappoint.

“I absolutely loved the show,” says Ms. Drake. “I had never heard his music before and it was honestly love at the first strum of his guitar.”

Mr. Cardiff sold several albums and records after the show, which he was more than happy to sign for fans after his performance. His willingness to engage with his audience and learn more about his fans was what made this event particularly delightful. The amount of curiosity that Mr. Cardiff has in his fans makes him a very charming individual. As always, it’s a pleasure having Cardiff grace our hearts and ears at The Study from to time to time again.

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