Brandi Carlile begins her three sold-out night Minneapolis residency at the majestic State Theater in support of her 2018 release, By the Way, I Forgive You.
Labeling this Washington-born singer-songwriter into a musical genre seems impossible. Her music is as diverse as it is richly sophisticated, which explains why she has become one of the most celebrated poetic lyricists and songwriters of a generation.
Her poetic journey of words paired with her efficacious, yet smooth sound reach the emotional nucleus of those that are in earshot, striking an impassioned response as if awakening forgotten memories and bringing them to the present.
Her 2018 release, By the Way, I Forgive You, is a harmonious exploration of expressions addressing addiction, love lost, love found, personal seclusion, childhood loneliness, happiness, and an elegant tribute to her daughter about raising a child in gay marriage. All of this is packaged together with talented musicianship provided by twins Phil and Tim Hanseroth.
Opening the night was the Secret Sisters, who walked on stage and told the crowd that if they were there to hear happy songs, that they were about to be disappointed. Proudly boasting that their songs were about heartache, break up, and buttholes, they immediately went into the night with amazingly powerful voices.
Laura and Lydia Rogers immediately won over a crowd with great banter between immensely complicated vocal stylings, which pierced the airwaves with authority.
The highlight of their short set [too short if, you ask me] was the song “You Don’t Own Me Anymore.”
Brandi started the night with emotional song, “By the Way, I Forgive You,” then immediately got the night rocking with “Raise Hell,” off her 2012 album Bear Creek.
The best way to describe a Brandi Carlile concert to those who have never been would be by comparing it to a Rock and Roll seance in which the spirits of Buddy Holly, Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, Janis Joplin, and all their musical friends showed up to have a jam session. So many twists, turns, stories, and musical artistry were put together in a two-plus hour set that seemed to be only ten minutes long.
Brandi and the twins have a way of hitting their fans in an emotional core. Every song seemed to resonate differently to those in the crowd. Some would be smiling while others seemed to struggle to hold back tears as the words were harmonized.
Whether it was the anticipation of an original song like 2007’s hit “The Story,” or one of the few covers the group performed, including a very passionate version of Elton John’s, “Madman Across the Water,” the crowd was won over before the show even started.
Ending the night with an acapella and audience sing-along of “Amazing Grace,” it was easy to see why some in the audience had teary eyes as the lights came on in the theatre