Show Preview: Earshot Jazz Presents Brian Blade @ Town Hall, Fri. 9/27

Show Preview: Brian Blade @ Town Hall – Fri. 9/27
~Dagmar

Brian Blade – photo by Daniel Sheehan

Louisiana’s Brian Blade performs tomorrow evening (that’s Friday, September 27th) at Town Hall. Blade, who’s working with several musicians for the project Life Cycles, including John Hart, Jon Cowherd, Doug Weiss, Myron Walden, Rogerio Boccato and Monte Croft, has won three GRAMMY awards.

Known as an amazing and soulful jazz drummer, Blade created Life Cycles in 2001. It’s now become a tribute to Bobby Hutcherson, the late jazz vibraphonist. Life Cycles wanted to record with Hutcherson; so sad that never happened. Blade’s worked as a solo artist and with a huge and impressive roster of other artists: Herbie Hancock, Jane Siberry, Laura Veirs and Iron & Wine among them. Thank you to Earshot Jazz for bringing Blade to Seattle, and please head over to Town Hall’s event page for more details and tickets.

Show Review & Photos: Zara Larsson @ the Neptune

Zara Larsson @ the Neptune – 9/17/19
Show Review & Photos by Dagmar

What an incredible show Swedish pop star Zara Larsson gave to fans last week in Seattle. The high-octane performance, the Don’t Worry Bout Me tour Seattle date, included a full band with two backup dancers. Now, I love coordinated, synchronized dancing. And Larsson danced in step with her backup dancers for nearly each song on her setlist. That’s like 13 songs or so, I’d estimate. The joy of the show, added to the dancing, added to the great songs and Larsson’s voice, make it one of the top shows I’ve been to.

Larsson, who trained as a ballerina, released her second album, So Good in 2017. That album made its way on to a 26 spot on the Billboard 200, just to give you a bit background. Or, if you’re asking, wait, she kind of sounds familiar. And that’s also because she’s the singer on Clean Bandit’s track, “Symphony,” (by the way: if you love that one, it’s on So Good as well.) She co-writes many of her songs, which brings me to the setlist.

The setlist featured wonderful tracks, with a moving cover of fellow Swede Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.” Very high marks too for “Ain’t My Fault,” “TG4M,” “Never Forget You,” “All the Time,” “This One’s for You,” “Don’t Worry Bout Me,” and “Ruin My Life.” I’m waiting and salivating for her next album, Don’t Worry Bout Me.

Zara Larsson – photos by Dagmar

More Photos of Zara Larsson @ the Neptune

Setlist:

Symphony
I Would Like
This One’s for You (David Guetta)
Ruin My Life
Don’t Worry Bout Me
Carry You Home
Wake Me Up (Avicii)
TG4M
Wanna
So Good
All the Time
Uncover
I Can’t Fall In Love Without You
Wow
Lush Life

Encore:

Ain’t My Fault/What Boys Like/I Like It
Never Forget You (Zara Larsson & MNEK)

Show Review & Photos: Angel Olsen w/Hand Habits @ the Moore

Angel Olsen w/Hand Habits @ the Moore, 9/14/18
Show Review & Photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn
Memory Lane Series, part 64

Asheville indie-folk artist Angel Olsen played an intimate solo set at Seattle’s Moore Theatre, accompanied by only spotlights, two guitars, and a bit of fog. Olsen’s Tiny Dreams Solo Tour contrasted with her last Seattle appearance, an upbeat whole-band production at the Neptune Theatre in February 2017.

Olsen’s voice is powerful yet delicate, with a silky vibrato like a slide guitar. She pairs a familiar vintage sweetness with a modern irreverence.

“Here’s one I wrote when I was 22 and knew everything about life,” quipped Olsen as she announced that she would play some sad songs. Much of her earlier work personified loneliness and desertion, and she still does it spectacularly: “Lonely Universe” left the auditorium pin-drop silent and a little tearful. But Olsen is versatile, clever, and very talented, and she can pull off humorous synth-pop just as easily as classic country.

The 12-tune set spanned several albums, including the 2017 compilation Phases. She mostly avoided her hits, even after a witty back-and-forth with the audience about what to play next. (Olsen ended up defiantly choosing her own tune.) She also kvetched about guitar tuning, festival touring, and having to play an 8 a.m. radio gig hungover the last time she was in Seattle, dropping endearing F-bombs along the way. Olsen closed with a Bruce Springsteen cover, “Tougher Than the Rest.”

Los Angeles-based Meg Duffy performed as Hand Habits, opening with a set of introspective guitar and vocals.

Angel Olsen – all photos by Lisa Hagen Glynn
Hand Habits – photo by Lisa Hagen Glynn