Sep 26, 2012

Relief from purple pain

After the bizarre Welcome 2Chicago concert on Monday night by The Symbol, or The Artist Formally Known As The Artist Formally Known As Prince, or Prince in short (maybe the way that he has been messing around with his own name was a sign o' the times; click here for GABROEN's take on the bizarreness), we had tickets for another show on Wednesday. With Monday night's experience still fresh in our minds, and too few hours passed to fully recuperate, we were a little weary of what to expect this time. But a heartening pasta prior to Wednesday's show at neighborhood gem The Pasta Palace did miracles in grounding our senses. 

Also, the signs for Wednesday were favorable. Rather than Monday's impersonal 20,000 seats stadium, Wednesday's show was in an intimate theater, the same one we saw a singing Dr. House last month (click here) and Italian rocker Zucchero last year. Also, Wednesday's show was by a newcomer to the music scene, 24 year old Michael Kiwanuka from London, awarded the 'best new voice from the UK' and BBC's 'Sound of 2012' winner. And boy, what a voice indeed. As comforting as Bill Withers singing "Lean on me", as laid back and soulful as Otis Redding in "Sitting on the dock of the bay". This guy is golden, and his live performance was as solid and heart-warming as Prince's was odd.

As pleasant of a surprise was the second opening act. After Malaysian girlish pretty singer-songwriter  Yuna opened the evening with some pretty songs, we were treated to The Bahamas. That's actually a solo act by Toronto-based singer-songwriter-guitarist Afie 'Bahamas' Jurvanen, whose disarming , captivating songs have already earned him a devoted fan base and critical acclaim. His performance went from intimate and subtle lyrics with two female backup singers, to raw and rocking guitar riffs, all in the same song. There was a lot of blues-like longing in his songs, taking an interesting twist by Afie's upbeat vocals and humor. We just had never heard of him, but we certainly are part of his fan base now.

In stark contrast to Monday night, we returned home feeling uplifted and happy, with 3 new vinyls. The only thing missing is a turntable, but that's in the works.......  

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