Fast forward a few months and I find that he's playing a solo show in London accompanied by the Gothenburg String Theory, a 20 piece orchestra. I struggle to put into words what the show was like. I would never use the terms epic to describe Gonzalez's solo work. Sparse, yes. Understated, definitely. The original arrangements went out the window and his work was turned into this immense and complex mountain of sound. Towards the end of the night the musicians launched into Teardrop (a Massive Attack cover). Both the original and Gonzalez's recorded version are gentle, ethereal songs. The orchestra provided the constant, slow beat and it began the way the audience was accustomed to, but it built and built. I can't recall ever seeing a mid-set standing ovation at a seated concert, but the power of the sound in the last 2 bars made me physically shake, and the crowd responded by getting to their feet.
I left with that buzz that happens when you know you've see something truly special. I can only compare it to Came So Far For Beauty, (a Leonard Cohen tribute at the Sydney Opera House) and the first time I saw Brand New at the UNSW Roundhouse. It was the only U.K. date on the 3 week tour. I hope that one of the nights is recorded because these alternative versions need to be heard.
The audio quality of this recording really doesn't do it justice, but it'll give you an idea.