Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ane Brun @ Bowery Ballroom

On Tuesday night, I had the privilege of going to see Ane Brun perform at Bowery Ballroom. Last time I saw her at Union Hall, she was amazing, but it wasn't an ideal show because of Union Hall's not very raised stage and me being not very tall and unable to see anything. So I snagged myself a front row spot at Bowery this time to make sure I could actually see my favorite Scandinavian songstress.

Olof Arnalds was up first. She's adorable. She had the audience singing along on multiple occasions and she made cute jokes (like when she did a Bruce Springstein cover and talked about bruise(bruce)-ing her ass on tour in Canada). While I just can't seem to get as into her music on the recordings I hear of it, she is a good performer - her music comes alive much more when she's playing it in front of an audience - and she's a good fit to play with Ane Brun. She too has a unique voice and specializes in slow, folky tunes. It was also fitting because she started out singing an Irish folk song, which dedicated to her grandmother who passed away, and she sang it completely acapella. Ane Brun ended her set with an acapella solo, something kind of operatic but I'm not sure exactly what the song was. It made very nice book ends to the night.

Ane Brun was spectacular. She pretty much has the perfect voice - different enough to stand apart from other singers, but completely beautiful, entrancing, haunting, even chilling and always in the perfect tone for what she's singing about, whether it be melancholy or happy, lovestruck or lovelorn. It's one of those few voices that sounds the same live as it does on the album so you know she's not being auto-tuned. She's also adorable, not to mention gorgeous, and she's a very humble performer. She kept thanking the audience and all the artists and Bowery Ballroom for being there and saying how excited and honored she was to be there. I really kind of want to be best friends with her.

She played most of my favorite songs except for "Song No. 6," and she told little stories in between about what inspired the songs or just things that were somehow related to the songs. And she had a few guest artists performing with her - a cellist and singer for a few songs, and then Anna Ternheim came on stage with her for a song during her encore.  Ane is spectacular by herself - that's one of the great things about her - but it was quite nice to see her play with other people, to hear the rich harmonies that are on her album, and the cello complimented it well. One of my favorite parts of the show was when she had us "oooo"-ing along with her song "Rubber & Soul" (one of my favorite songs of hers) and at the end she goes "wow, you hipsters... you can sing." All in all, a great night - one of those concerts that makes me think as I'm walking home about how lucky I am to be living in New York City and to have access to all this amazing music.

My Lover Will Go
To Let Myself Go (? not 100% sure about this one)
Round Table Conference
Raise My Head
Ten Seconds
My Star
The Puzzle
Lullaby For Grown Ups
The Changing of the Seasons
The Treehouse Song
The Fall
It's Alright (cover)
Rubber & Soul
Balloon Ranger
Off the Road (by and featuring Anna Ternheim)
Alfonsina (? Also not sure about this one, as I can't quite read the set list)

More pictures:
Ane Brun @ Bowery Ballroom

The Puzzle [mp3] - (iTunes)

P.S. I should also add that Ane just released four older albums that weren't available in the US here, so be sure to check those out.

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