Seven years ago, Rolling Stone magazine named Brandi Carlile one of the “10 Artists to Watch in 2005.” These days, lots of people are watching her.
Carlile has been performing since childhood, so she is as personable as she is comfortable on stage. She is also a complete package: a talented songwriter with an evocative voice who plays several instruments. All that has helped her attract a fan base that is devout and loyal. Friday’s audience treated her with an abundance of warmth and cheer. During “Turpentine,” she and her band orchestrated a three-part harmony among three sections of the crowd, which sang along, in tune and loudly.
The set included several songs off “Bear Creek,” the album she released in June, including her opening song, “Raise Hell,” “100” and “That Wasn’t Me,” one of the encores, which aroused one of the loudest crowd responses of the night.
She also tossed in two covers: a passable version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and a clean, straight version of the Beatles’ “Oh! Darling.”
The evening’s biggest moment, however, was “The Story,” a powerful rock anthem, which closed the first set. It’s Carlile’s biggest hit, and she has been performing it for many years, but each time she hurls herself into it like it might be her last. That energy spread to the audience, where people stood and sang along and a few couples slow-danced, as if they'd just renewed their vows. It's the kind of reaction you get to a performer who will be watched and listened to for many years to come.
Setlist: Raise Hell; Dreams; Hard Way Home; Before It Breaks; 100; What Can I Say; Caroline; Keep Your Heart Young; Save Part of Yourself; Looking Out; Bohemian Rhapsody; Turpentine; Dying Day; The Story. Encore: Oh! Darling; Pride and Joy; That Wasn’t Me; His Eye is On the Sparrow.
| Timothy Finn, The Star