Review: David Duchovny at The Imperial

Review: David Duchovny at The Imperial

Oh, wow. Like Paris Hilton and Keanu Reeves before him, David Duchovny has a singing career.

He’s only got one album to his credit (2015’s Hell or Highwater), but that didn’t stop his show from selling out. The Imperial was packed wall-to-wall with middle-aged gals dying to get close to Agent Mulder, er, David Duchovny. It was clear from the feverish energy in the crowd that people were here to see David Duchovny in the flesh, not necessarily to hear him sing.

Photography by Melissa Dex Guzman

Photography by Melissa Dex Guzman

The 57-year-old television star and sometimes alt-country/folk singer arrived half an hour late to his own set, with no openers before him to fill the void. He showed up admittedly intoxicated and proceeded to deliver a parade of same-sounding tunes for his devout crowd.

Duchovny’s vocal leaves much to be desired. An audience member next to me told his friend, “He kind of has a Leonard Cohen thing going on.” Well, yeah. Leonard Cohen wasn’t known for his great singing range. But just like Cohen, and The Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan (and his dad Bob too, for that matter), Duchovny sort of mumbles through his set. This performance isn’t really about the music, and that was evident from the start.

Photography by Melissa Dex Guzman

Photography by Melissa Dex Guzman

When The X-Files was being filmed in Vancouver all those years ago, Duchovny famously had the show uprooted and moved back to Los Angeles because he didn’t like the climate here. Fair enough. “I’ve got a special place in my heart for this city, always,” he told the room. Uhh, wait a minute.

Duchovny should have considered that fact when blowing smoke up Vancouver’s ass and telling his crowd how much he loves the city. “He’s lying,” said the drunk old gal next to me to her friends. Come on, Duchovny, people see right through that shit. How about make a joke at your own expense to address the elephant in the room instead? Sigh. Even down the road at notorious strip club No. 5 Orange, a sign outside read “David Duchovny You’re Still Barred.”

Photography by Melissa Dex Guzman

Photography by Melissa Dex Guzman

“I always wanted to say this. ‘I’m gonna do a song from my first album,'” he said, before launching into “3000”, a sprawling, mumbling ode to New York. Good move, Dave. Nothing says “I love you Vancouver” more than a song about New York. Nearly every song sounded the same, and the vocals were gritty and rough. I guess people go for that sort of thing. But man did it get sleepy really fast.

Most of the set would feature songs from Hell or Highwater, aside from a few covers (The Band’s “The Weight” and the late Tom Petty’s “Square One”) sprinkled in. Joking about his own lack of material, Duchovny said “It’s so funny to remember our early days. This is our nostalgia tour.”

God damn, just do The X-Files and people will let you do whatever the fuck you want, it seems. Power to you, Duchovny. What’s next, though? Gillian Anderson Sings The Songs of Yoko Ono?

Photography by Melissa Dex Guzman

Photography by Melissa Dex Guzman