Tonight was…

in a word AMAZING. (And I’m pretty hard to please!)

The evening began when A Fine Frenzy opened. Though I hadn’t heard them before, they were quite good. The lead singer, Alison Sudol, has a really great voice and the instrumentation with drums and various synthesizers was really cool.

But Brandi Carlile was AMAZING. I can’t even remember all of her set but it was really well put together. I’ve been listening to her albums for the past few days, and I have to say that not too much jumped out at me. Live, however, I was riveted. Her music style is pretty unique; she mixes bluegrass, country, and rock.

She performed her older stuff (even admitting she got her start as the opening act for Hanson – MMMBOP!), and peppered the set with new material. She switched back and forth among her acoustic guitar, a second amped acoustic, and her electric guitar. AND she opened playing the piano. She rocked the house, along with her two fellow guitarists (“the twins”), her cellist, her keyboardist and her drummer. After over an hour and a half of playing, she closed her concert with “The Story,” which is my favorite song. Let me tell you – if you enjoy the recording, the live version is 200% more emotional and charged.

THEN she came back for a curtain call. She did what I’ve not seen any other band do – she played Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues. The sound isn’t great on that clip, but she and the band were just incredible. They took a big instrumental break in the middle and brought the house down. She followed up with one more older song, then a new one – an incredibly amazing heart-wrenching ballad which she performed by herself with her un-mic’d acoustic. I HOPE HOPE HOPE it’s going to make her next album. Finally she closed with “Hallelujah”.

Tonight was a definite don’t miss – I’m glad we didn’t!


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