Patrick Watson at Lincoln Hall

The Montreal musician Patrick Watson returned on Monday, Sept. 28, to Chicago’s Lincoln Hall, where I saw him perform in 2012. (I also saw him at Schubas back in 2009.) I’d overlooked his recent album Love Songs for Robots, but my initial impression is that it’s a nice extension of the beautiful orchestral pop music Watson has been making for years. And his music — both old and new — sounded as lovely and transporting as ever when he played on Monday night, with a nimble ensemble of players arrayed across the stage along with globe-shaped lights. Watson moved back and forth between his grand piano and the microphone in the center of the stage. When the band was in full flight, this was complex art rock filled with subtle, shifting layers. But there were also a couple of moments when Watson and his collaborators stood around one microphone and performed music with the utmost simplicity. Either way, it was brilliant.

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