Kate Voegele was first up on the bill for the evening, and I was completely unfamiliar with her work beforehand. She played a fairly short set of material (maybe 5 or 6 songs) on acoustic guitar while singing, with an accompanying musician supporting her on a couple different instruments. She's on tour drumming up support for her debut album, Don't Look Away, which is out now. Find some of her songs to listen to HERE. (Is it just me, or does she look a lot like Emmy the Great on the cover?)
Next up was an artist that I was much more familiar with and who I was very eager to see play live again. Cary Brothers has been on the road for most of the year in support of his full length debut, Who You Are. Earlier this year he was opening for Brandi Carlile (read my review of that show and his album), then he was touring on his own, and now he's back at it with Ben. Cary's songs have appeared in a basket-full of TV shows and movies, and I'm sure this album and tour are sure to catapult his career.
Cary Brothers - Honestly (live) : Studio version on Who You Are
(watch the video)
Of course the evening wouldn't be complete with Australian Ben Lee. Following up perhaps the what was the most commercially succesful album of his career in 2005 (Awake Is the New Sleep), Ben just released Ripe back in September, and so far it's living up to the pressure (I wrote about the album back here). Unlike his previous tout last year with a complete band, this time Ben was supported by only one other musician on stage, giving the set a somewhat softer edge than the last time I saw him in April of 2006. Regardless, Ben is one of the most consummate entertainers I've ever seen, able to connect with the audience almost immediately and have them eating out of his hand by the end of the night.
Ben opened up with the title track from the new album, and the highlight of his set came within the first third of it with a series of songs that started with his cover of Against Me!'s Thrash Unreal (Ben extended much praise for their latest album and has in fact made a complete cover album of the entire thing which you can download for free). After showing the crowd his Frankie Says Relax t-shirt, Ben then launched into a track from his last album, Gamble Everything for Love, but started out singing the lyrics to Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood over the tune. Eventually this transformed itself into Gamble Everything For Love in earnest, but half-way through Ben decided it was time for an interlude and had a seat at a keyboard and proceeded to bust out Home Sweet Home (by Motley Crue). After going through a few bars, the song once again turned back into Gamble Everything For Love. It was absolutely brilliant!
The rest of the evening passed by quickly, with most of the new album being played as well as some older ones (including one of my favorite tracks off my favorite album, Deep Talk In The Shallow End from Something to Remember Me By). If you have the opportunity to catch the tour (dates at the bottom), make sure not to miss it. All three acts are top notch and you're sure to get your moneys worth.
If anyone has pictures from the show that they'd like to share, please do. If anyone has a recording of the show, I'd trade some stock in Mainstream Isn't So Bad for it.
Ben Lee - Thrash Unreal : Ben Lee Sings Against Me! New Wave
Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax : Welcome To The Pleasuredome
Ben Lee - Gamble Everything for Love : Awake Is the New Sleep
Motley Crue - Home Sweet Home : Theatre of Pain
Ben Lee - Gamble Everything for Love (live) : Live 3-21-05 at the Bluebird Theatre
and the title track from his new album:
Ben Lee - Ripe : Ripe
More tour dates:
More tour dates:
11/23 Montreal @ Cabaret du Musee Juste Pour Rire
11/24 Toronto @ Mod Club
11/26 Alexandria VA @ Birchmere
11/27 Charlottesville VA @ Satellite Ballroom
11/28 Asheville NC @ The Orange Peel
11/29 Atlanta @ The Loft at Center Stage Atlanta
12/01 Birmingham, AL @ Workplay Theater
12/02 Nashville TN @ Exit In
12/04 New Orleans @ The Parish
12/05 Dallas @ Cambridge Room at House of Blues
12/06 Houston @ Red Room at Meridien
12/07 Austin @ The Parish
12/08 Norman OK @ Opolis Production
12/09 Tulsa @ Bob’s at Cain’s
12/11 Tempe AZ @ The Clubhouse
12/12 Los Angeles @ El Rey Theatre
12/13 San Diego @ House of Blues