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Brandi Carlile rocks at homecoming show
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Brandi Carlile rocks at homecoming show

by Marian Michener - SGN Contributing Writer

Brandi Carlile
Paramount Theatre
October 24


The excitement was high in the Paramount as the audience awaited Brandi Carlile's homecoming concert last week. There was a big turnout of Lesbians, acknowledging that Carlile is quietly one of us.

The warm-up act, Katie Herzig, was a nice surprise. Her band was tight and her voice was reminiscent of Patsy Cline. Herzig's music and lyrics were pleasing. High points were "I Hurt, Too," "Sweeter Than This," "Two Hearts Are Better Than One," and "Trouble." Her song "Big Man" was featured in the Sex in the City movie.

Carlile started with "Everyone Has yo Be On Their Own" sung sweetly and a capella with band member twins Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Her voice reminded me of Marlene Dietrich for its lushness there.

Tim picked up his guitar and Phil his bass, and the rest of the band - Josh Neuman on cello and Allison Miller on drums - joined in for "Someone Loves You." Carlile broke our hearts with "Alone In the Last Place I Wanted to Be" with a big Joan Baez voice. She knocked us out with "Late Morning Lullabye" and "This is My Song." "Lost in a Sea of Sunken Dreams" featured a hot drum solo by Allison Miller. I liked the fact that Carlile uses a strong, confident woman drummer.

Brandi talked about the fact that, having grown up in Maple Valley, she had fantasized about opening at the Paramount for years. She demonstrated the wonderful acoustics there, by playing the song "Dying Day" without microphones. "I Will Do the Right Thing," "Shadow on the Wall" and "Dreams" kept the concert moving apace.

Carlile said she has long been a fan of Elton John, so it was an honor for her to have him accompany her on one of the songs on her new CD, Give Up The Ghost. She talked about wondering what it would be like to meet him and what he would wear. Apparently he was wearing a tracksuit with big pink-framed sunglasses. When it came time to get down to business, he put the sunglasses away, but replaced them with reading glasses that also had pink frames.

"Turpentine" had appealing three-part harmony. Brandi introduced her sister Tiffany, who sang "Calling All Angels" with her. "I Was Made For You" was my date's favorite song, and I can see why. The crowd gave Carlile a standing ovation, which started a long, generous encore.

"I'm Going to Jackson," a tribute to Johnny Cash, as well as "Folsom Prison Blues," and "Let It Be" were fun covers. Katie Herzig and her band joined Brandi and her band for "You Showed Me How to Find My Way."

Brandi talked about how the next song, "That Year," was the saddest song on her new album, so she played it with the smallest guitar she had. It was indeed a touching song. "Mad World" left us reflecting on Carlile's incredible range from the quiet moments to the big double band accompanied numbers. She nailed every note in between with apt music and lyrics.

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