Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Brandi Carlile - Live at the Oregon Zoo - 2008-08-22



Apologies to anyone paying attention for the long delay in posting this review. In addition to only recently having heard much of Brandi and therefore not having the setlist to this show for a while, I'm a lazy git.

So how many concerts have you been to where you can walk across a field to your seat on the lawn with a newly-purchased bottle of wine in your hand? Seventeen? Ok, good on you, I should have seen that coming. But now, how many of those had a gated area where you could have a peek at some Asian elephants, one of which was preparing to give birth that night? [If you're answer was anything other than "golly gee Jay, never ever!", then I tip my safari hat to you).

I'm not going to feign familiarity with Ms. Carlile's catalog of songs here, but I will let you in on this secret -- she and her band could burn the paint off a pistol with their take on CCR's 'Fortunate Son' (and they ain't too shabby on 'Folsom Prison Blues', either). As for her own material, I think even Brandi was surprised at how the audience beat her to the punch and started singing the harmonies for 'Turpentine' before she even had a chance to assign the vocal parts to sections of the crowd. She had commented earlier about how she dreamed of headlining this venue on her home turf after having opened for Chris Isaak here before, and nowhere was her pure joy of this performance more clear than at this moment.

She closed the show with two solo songs that paired well together: an emotionally-charged, unreleased song called 'That Year' which was written about her response to a friend's suicide in high school (and might have been a last minute addition to the setlist, based on her countdown of how many more songs she had left to do), followed a cover of Leonard Cohen's ubiquitous 'Hallelujah'. Now that was a fine exit.



Setlist:

What Can I Say
Have You Ever
Fall Apart Again
Late Morning Lullaby
Wasted
My Song
Fortunate Son
Love Songs
Cannonball
Caroline
Dreams
Downpour
Turpentine
The Story
Folsom Prison Blues
Pride & Joy

Encore:
That Year
Hallelujah