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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 6, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 14
Brandi Carlile wows hometown fans with stellar performance at Moore Theatre
Arts & Entertainment
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Brandi Carlile wows hometown fans with stellar performance at Moore Theatre

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

BRANDI CARLILE
MOORE THEATRE
March 30


For those who attended Brandi Carlile's first of two concerts at the Moore Theatre last weekend, we should consider ourselves fortunate. Not only was it a top notch performance, filled with many highlights and a preview of the artist's brand new album, but it was the only show that hometown fans got a chance to see, as Carlile was forced to postpone the second concert the following night due to a family emergency.

The acclaimed singer-songwriter, who got her start playing small clubs in the Queen Anne and Pioneer Square neighborhoods, or anywhere that would give her a chance to perform, opened her show with the title track from her latest album, By the Way, I Forgive You. Joined by a full band, which included a string section and longtime collaborators, twin musicians Phil and Tim Hanseroth, Carlile sounded impressive and very confident from the get-go.

'It's on now,' she said looking out to a packed theater. 'I heard you singing 'Total Eclipse of the Heart,' she added, referring to the enthusiastic crowd's loud sing-along to the overhead tunes played just before Carlile went on, which she heard backstage.

Although her fan base is a diverse collective of people, a significant percentage of followers, such as those who came to the Friday night show, are Lesbian women, who've supported Carlile from her earliest beginnings.

While she played every track from the new album, they weren't performed in the order they appear on the record, allowing Carlile to fill out her set list with material from previous projects, such as 'Raise Hell' off of 2012's Bear Creek album and 'The Eye' from 2015's The Firewatcher's Daughter.

'Harder to Forgive' displayed a rock star side of Carlile that we've never quite seen before with Ann Wilson-like vocals and aggressive guitar riffs. The audience seemed to love it, half surprised that the usually quiet and folk-style artist had no problem tackling unchartered territory.

'It feels incredible to be playing this show,' stated a joyful Carlile, wearing skinny black jeans with an untucked white shirt and dark colored blazer, removed midway through. When she introduced the Hanseroth twins to the crowd, she told us that they were immediately keen upon first meeting Carlile to let her call the shots. 'These guys were into female leadership when it wasn't cool,' she said with a laugh.

She also shared with the audience her experience of being a parent to two children, her youngest born just weeks ago, telling us that she received a lot of 'dad advice' from her straight friends. Minutes later, she was performing a gorgeous, delicate version of 'The Mother,' which features the emotional lyrics, 'You are not an accident where no one thought it through' and 'You're nothing short of magical and beautiful to me.'

Another rock star moment came when Carlile wailed on 'The Joke,' pacing the stage from side to side; it earned her a well-deserved standing ovation. A similar intense and passionate energy was felt when she landed on the anthem-like song 'Mainstream Kid,' as she jumped up and down feverishly. In contrast, however, 'Cannonball' was performed entirely unplugged with Carlile and the Hanseroths strumming acoustic guitars and singing a cappella at the edge of the stage.

'The Story,' her most recognizable hit to date, got help from the audience, who sang all the words loudly with content. 'Party of One' closed out the main set, which included a string arrangement composed by the late Paul Buckmaster.

For an encore, 'Hold Out Your Hand' was dedicated to all the kids who took part in the 'March for Our Lives' event' that Carlile also participated in.

This concert was as solid a performance as can be delivered, flawless and memorable with touches of sentiment and humor, giving fans a range of emotions to experience during two hours of quality music. If you have tickets to that second show at the Moore, hold onto them and know that you're in for a treat when she reschedules.

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