Last night, Brandi Carlile sold out the Minnesota State Fair grandstand alongside the legendary gospel-rock singer Mavis Staples. Brandi was all smiles as she entered in her shimmery pantsuit, taking a few moments to take in the enormous crowd.
Brandi’s giddy, humbled energy was incredibly endearing. She spoke about going to her first concert ever, the Judds at the Washington State Fair, and pointed out into the nosebleeds of the grandstand. She eyeballed the equivalent seats to where she was sitting at that state fair.
“My mind is blown, this is such an unspeakable honor.”
Staples’ soulful, raspy set got the crowd warmed up for Brandi. The two even joined each other for a duet, “Friendship.” Mavis has still got it – she is witty, spry and her voice is as powerful as ever. She kept referring to Brandi as “Baby Gangster,” a hilarious new nickname the crowd got a kick out of.
A early standout from the night, “Wherever is Your Heart” brought the crowd to a roar. “Minneapolis, you know what? This feels like home!”
Brandi shared a story about a time when she attended a Mavis Staples concert for the first time and received her first compliment from Joni Mitchell. As a small tribute, she did a beautiful, emotional cover of “Case of You.” Shortly after, she dove into a roaring rendition of early Led Zeppelin track, “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.”
To wrap things up, Brandi closed the night with the majestic ballad, “Pride and Joy.” She took a moment to stand and marvel at the 13,000+ fans, a sea of lighters and lit-up cellphones.
“Wow, this is absolutely beautiful,” she said, “All the famous rock stars get to see this all the time. I wanted to see it once in my life.”