Brandi Carlile at Varsity Theater, 12/30/2012
|Photo by Youa Vang|
Varsity Theater, Minneapolis
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Making her way back to Minneapolis for the fourth of five shows in the Cities in 2012 (two at the MN Zoo in June, one at the Fitz for Wits, and the remaining two at the Varsity Theater), Brandi Carlile is not shy about her love for Minnesota, her biggest market. She said to the sold out crowd, "Hello there, Minneapolis. Look at you, one of my favorite places in the world."
Wits featuring Maria Bamford and Brandi Carlile, 11/30/12
Brandi Carlile at the MN Zoo Amphitheater, 6/20/2012
Brandi Carlile on Bear Creek and Kris Kristofferson
Being the first of two New Year's Eve shows, Carlile encouraged the crowd to "leave behind everything that happened to you this year," a mentality that Brandi often integrates into her lyrics. The performer opened with her bluesy "Raise Hell" and fell back on an old favorite of "Dreams." Often drowned out by the audience's singing, her evident joy of playing in a room full of people solely there for her could be felt to the back of the room. While the evening's set was heavy with tracks from her latest album, Bear Creek, Brandi threw in quite a few covers, surprising for an artist that has such an extensive catalog of songs.
The singer plays into the girl-next-door persona with her unassuming beauty and wit, perhaps that is why she is so accessible to her fans. Much of that charm is on display between song, whether she is talking about when she and the Hanseroth twins were touring with Hanson back in 2004, or when she recently played the Grand Ole Opry that had much of her Minnesota relatives descending on Nashville. Carlile commiserated, "Poor Nashville."
|Photo by Youa Vang|
Carlile still sang a lot about heartache like in "100," but may be changing her tune -- no pun intended -- to something happier since she was recently married. She pulled out "Closer to You," an older piece that is not often played, but she figured she would perform it anyways. The tune showcased Carlile's beautiful range and brought out her country background including her semi-yodeling twist. The song segued into a rousing cover of the Beatles' "I've Just Seen a Face," perhaps an ode to her new wife.