Event, Music, Review

Concert Review: Vanessa Carlton live at the Highline Ballroom 10/15/13

October 21, 2013
On Tuesday, October 15, Grammy Award nominated singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton graced the stage at the Highline Ballroom for an enchanting evening that left attendees wanting to relive the show over and over again.
Carlton, most famous for her 2002 hit song “A Thousand Miles”, opened her set with “Carousel”, the lead single from her 2011 album Rabbits on the Run. Passionate fans replicated the hand claps during the song’s bridge, which Carlton appeared to enjoy and appreciate. Following “Carousel”, she played fan favorites “Hands on Me” and “Nolita Fairytale”, both from Heroes and Thieves, her third and final album with a major label. Accompanied by long-time friend Skye Steele on violin, Carlton brought new life to these older songs and performed them with ease.
The real treat of the night came when she performed three new songs scheduled to appear on her currently untitled fifth album, which she is still working on in London. If these songs are any indication of what the final product will sound like, it is safe to say the new album may be her best one yet. The first of the new songs was “House of Seven Swords”, an ethereal and atmospheric tune inspired by the tarot card of the same name and her brother’s somewhat recent graduation from college.
“Take It Easy” was next and began with a music box-like intro that became a haunting and perfectly utilized overlay for the entire song. Along with Steele’s accompaniment, this song is not only well composed, but also surprisingly catchy.
The last of the new songs was “Willows”, which Carlton said came naturally to her and was partly inspired by a “badass willow tree” from her childhood that was “bound to make it into a song”. Taking a slightly darker turn than the others, “Willows” is reminiscent of “Half a Week Before the Winter” and “Papa” (Harmonium), both in style and sound.
After playing a few other songs from Harmonium and Rabbits on the Run, Carlton brought the evening to a close with “A Thousand Miles” and “Home”. Throughout her performance, Carlton displayed effortless musicianship with her clean vocals and unrivaled piano skills. Fans welcomed the new material with thunderous applause and reveled in their long-time favorites. This was definitely an unforgettable evening.
***
 
Setlist
 
Carousel
Hands on Me
Nolita Fairytale
House of Seven Swords
Take It Easy
Willows
White Houses
Get Good
Who’s To Say
I Don’t Want to Be a Bride (w/Ari Ingber on guitar)
Hear the Bells
The Marching Line
Encore:
A Thousand Miles
Home

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