Thursday, February 17, 2011

Jill Barber @ CBC Studio 40 -- 02/16/11

The first, and only, time I saw Jill Barber live was almost exactly one year ago, at a free Olympic show. And to be quite honest, I kinda fell in love with her a little at the show (don't tell Grant). So I was glad to find out she would be taping concert for both CBC Radio & Television, and it would only cost an email to get in.

The stage in CBC Vancovuer's Studio 40 was quite fancy, and the band dressed to the nines to match. Barber was not only debuting songs from her upcoming release, Mischievous Moon, but also singing a few songs en fran├žais. The new songs definitely had me looking forward to the album, and her jazz influence and sultry voice made me feel like I should be wearing a suit, at a table in a dimly lit room, with a glass of fine whiskey -- though only one third of that was true, sadly.

Aside from small flubs at the beginning of a couple songs, the band was great throughout the night, with a nice variety of strings, brass and a grand piano, and Barber's captivating stage presence. As well as the new songs, there was some old -- "Chances" got some "recognition applause" at the beginning -- and also a cover of Charles Aznavour's "Plus Bleu Que Tes Yeux".
Some other highlights were "Ashes to Ashes", which started with just her and a guitar, until the band kicked in near the end with an incredible and grandiose ending. The new single, "Tell Me" was great, and was repeated in French after a quick pause for a tape change in the cameras.
As the set came to an end, Jill told the story of a dream she once had, and the song it inspired. As she told the story, the band played under her narration, giving it a very noir feeling. It was a really cool intro that led straight into the great "Oh My My", which had everyone clapping along.

That "ended" the set, but she was back out with appropriate songs for the encore, "Leaving You" and "One More Time". Leaving us with the lyrics "If you don't mind / Just before you go away / Won't you kiss me / One more time", I wouldn't be surprised if about half the room left the night having kinda fallen in love with her a little.

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