Admitedly, I was a bit apprehensive about this show. I love Maria Taylor’s albums and singing along to her songs in the car. But her songs are slow and moody, so I was a worried the show would be boring. But Maria Taylor was hypnotic. She has that special charisma or ‘it factor’ where you really can’t take your eyes off her. Or really, it’s that you can’t look away from her eye: big, shining and soulful. It reminds me of love story where a man sees a woman sing and instantly falls in love. The voice, the eye, the giant left handed guitar, she is an indie dream woman.
Though Maria’s sultry left eye was the star of the show, there was a lot of good music too…
We missed the first opener but luckily we made it for the second, Whispertown 2000. They sounded like modern hillbilly rock (is that an oxymoron?). They had an interesting mix of vocals that took some getting used to. The lead singer, Morgan, had a soulful rough voice, then the back up singer, Vanesa, had a clear high voice. Together it was magical, though at times the lack of blending was frustrating. I was a bit scared when I saw there was a backup singer who didn’t play an instrument, but she made up for it with her creative harmonies, especially on “Old Times.” The band overall was tight and talented, switching instruments on a few songs. They definitely won the crowd over, receiving applause almost as big as Maria Taylor’s by the end.
When Maria Taylor hit the stage the crowd was, a bit lackluster to say the least. No one really started clapping until the third song. Was everyone intimidated? Had no one heard of her? Were they half asleep? I have no idea, but about three songs in she had won everyone over. She kept a good mix of slower songs and more upbeat ones, keeping the set interesting. She also made the setlist on the spot with much less dithering than what usually happens in that situation.
Overall the show was extremely professional and full of charm. Everyone was comfortable on stage and fun to watch. The best part was that both bands really like each other and the stage banter was fun and really showed the band’s personalities. Make sure to check out Whispertown 2000, they are quite excellent. And if you see Maria Taylor make sure to stand on the left side of the stage to get the full effect of her hypnotic eye.
Here’s Maria Taylor’s setlist:
Cartoons and Forever Plans
Time Lapse Lifeline
A Good Start
My Favorite Love
Song Beneath the Song
Quote of the Evening: Maria Taylor: “What do you think I am, an egomaniac?”
when discussing the songs played at the keyboardist Craig’s recent nuptuals.