Brandi Carlile *absolutely* blew me away last night live. She is an unassuming 23-year old with a voice that rips you to shreds. She wails, she mourns, she pours out her soul, and she’s really really good.
All throughout her extremely well-received performance at the Ogden Theatre in Denver, her vulnerability and her wavering, rich, gorgeous voice completely reminded me of my beloved Jeff Buckley. So, I felt like I was punched in the gut when she began the intro to her closer. She was all alone on the stage; her band had left her alone for the final song. She started in with the gentle guitar chords and fingerpicking and it hit me that she was performing “Hallelujah.” And as she got into it, she was playing the Jeff Buckley version, not the original Leonard Cohen or Rufus Wainwright or any other number of artists who have sung it.
It was clear to me as I stood there and listened to her in that dark and transfixed room that she, like me, had listened to the recording of Jeff singing it a thousand times. She paused where he pauses, she breathed where he breathes, her voice cracked where his did. And it almost felt a bit transcendent, as if she was channeling Jeff through her song. It was a gift of love, belting out a song that she clearly felt deeply inside. And although it sounds silly to type it here the next morning, I couldn’t help but fight back some hot tears because it was just so damn beautiful and wrenching.
I talked to her after the show; we both expressed how never seeing Jeff Buckley live was one of our biggest regrets. I asked where I could find a recording of her performing Hallelujah, and she pointed me in the direction of KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic. I’ve got it for you here and you must hear it; although it can’t capture the same vibe as a live performance, it’s dang good:
Open the Real Player to hear her set:
What Can I Say (great song)
Fall Apart Again
Closer to You
Throw It All Away (another great song, posted on the Monday Music Roundup last week)
The Story (listen to her belt it out. Oh. My. Gosh.)
Hiding My Heart
If the above link to the player won’t open, try here.
I bought her 2005 debut album, Brandi Carlile, at the show last night and I’ve already listened to it about 3 times through. Deeply impressive & authentic.
Upcoming tour dates: GO SEE HER!
She is playing with Jamie Cullum (who is also a fabulous dynamo on-stage), and Train (who I personally cannot condone in this forum, due to their use of lame lyrics about soy lattes and tae bo. Thank you.). But Train or no, she is worth paying to see.
3.12.06 – St. Paul, MN, Fitzgerald Theater w/ Jamie Cullum
3.13.06 – Chicago, IL, Park West w/ Jamie Cullum
3.14.06 – St. Louis, MO, The Pageant w/ Jamie Cullum
3.19.06 – Atlanta, GA, The Tabernacle w/ Jamie Cullum
3.21.06 – Toronto, CANADA, Harbourfront Centre w/ Jamie Cullum
3.22.06 – Royal Oak, MI, Royal Oak Music w/ Jamie Cullum
3.23.06 – Cleveland, OH, House of Blues w/ Jamie Cullum
3.25.06 – Washington, DC, 9:30 Club w/ Jamie Cullum
3.26.06 – Sayreville, NJ, Starland Ballrom w/ Jamie Cullum
3.27.06 – Philadelphia, PA, Kimmel Center w/ Jamie Cullum
3.30.06 – Boston, MA, Opera House w/ Jamie Cullum
4.05.06 – Denver, CO, Paramount w/ Train
4.06.06 – Kansas City, MO, Uptown Theatre w/ Train
4.07.06 – St. Louis, MO, Pageant w/ Train
4.08.06 – Nashville, TN, Ryman w/ Train
4.10.06 – Madison, WI, Orpheum w/ Train
4.11.06 – Milwaukee, WI, Riverside Theatre w/ Train
4.12.06 – Minneapolis, MN, State Theatre w/ Train
4.13.06 – Cedar Rapids, IA, Paramount Theatre w/ Train
4.14.06 – Cincinnati, OH, Taft w/ Train
4.15.06 – Chicago, IL, Chicago Theatre w/ Train
4.17.06 – Cleveland, OH, House of Blues w/ Train
4.18.06 – Toronto, ON, The Phoenix w/ Train
4.19.06 – Detroit, MI, State Theare w/ Train
4.20.06 – Pittsburgh, PA, AJ Palumbo w/ Train
4.21.06 – Atlanta City, NJ, Borgata w/ Train
4.22.06 – Erie, PA, Civic Center w/ Train
4.26.06 – New York, NY, Beacon w/ Train
4.27.06 – Washington, DC, DAR Constitution Hall w/ Train
4.28.06 – Mashantucket, CT, Foxwoods w/ Train