The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Saturday, October 10, 2009]

I Heart Brandi Carlile

Brandi rocks. Laynie took this cool picture.

Katie and I are waiting for the show to begin.

Laynie and Katie are waiting for the show to begin.

Katie (my sister), Laynie (my friend), and I went to Brandi Carlile's show at the Ram's Head in Baltimore Thursday night. It was awesome!! Laynie blogged about it here, but I will give you my version.

First off, Ram's Head Tavern and Ram's Head Live are so different. In March, we saw Brandi at Ram's Head Tavern in Annapolis, which is a sit-down place, like a large jazz club. Tables, servers, etc. It was fun, and the music was great, but it was rather sedate compared with Ram's Head Live. Ram's Head Live is basically just an open, three-floored room, bare bones. There's a bar and a large open area in front of the stage. On the second and third floors, there are catwalks where people stand at the railing to watch the show. It had a completely different vibe: fresh, energetic, now.

We staked out a spot about 10 feet from the stage, right in the middle. That was because we got there about 45 minutes early. :D Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls opened for Brandi (funny that Brandi opened for the Indigo Girls a few years back). Laynie hated Amy Ray, and Katie and I assured her that it wasn't just because Laynie is deaf. I think Amy's music is pretty boring, and the audio mix was horrible. The electric guitars and drums drowned out her voice. I understood maybe three words that she said. Nothing about her music was distinctive. Brandi came out and sang a couple of songs with her, and I couldn't hear her voice very well either. But it was what Amy was looking for, because she brought her own sound guy, whom she thanked from the stage. Oh, and Amy's show was so LOUD that I had a temporary threshold shift. Good thing there was about an hour-long break between Amy's and Brandi's shows, because my ears were able to recover somewhat. At least it didn't affect our communication, because we were using ASL anyway. The one thing we like about Amy was her drummer, who seemed to be on happy pills. Reeeeeeally happy pills.

On to the good stuff--Brandi! A letter to Brandi Carlile:


Dear Brandi,

Your live shows are awesome, especially the one in Baltimore on October 8, 2009. You sounded amazing, your sound was perfectly mixed, and the light show added so much to your songs. Thanks for playing "I Will," which is quickly becoming one of my favorites from the new album. "Dying Day" unplugged was awesome! People actually shushed each other as the song started, desperate to hear you.

"That Year" was touching. I think my sister might have teared up a little.

I have loved the song "Before It Breaks" for several months now (I know the album just came out on Tuesday, but I've sort of been YouTube stalking you), so I was happy to hear you play it. And Laynie, my videographer, recorded it with her little camera. Unfortunately, the audio crapped out with every drumbeat. Still fun to have.

It was fun to do "Turpentine," and wasn't the audience in Baltimore much better at it than those old fogies in Annapolis? Yeah, we sounded great. No video of that, but you've done it before, and here's someone else's video.

The Swiss rock, huh? Hey, so did Baltimore. Anyway, it was a great show. Can you come back to Baltimore next week. Thanks!

Love, Annie
p.s. I noticed you staring at us when you first came onstage to play with Amy Ray. We were chatting in ASL, not paying attention to Amy. You must have wondered why deaf people would go to a concert. Well, Katie and I can hear. Actually, so can Laynie.


We had such a great time. I was pleasantly surprised that Laynie LOVED IT, given that she hated the Brandi concert in March and was totally bored. At this week's show, she kept turning around with sparkly eyes, making comments, and asking questions. More experience listening? Being bilateral? The addition of drums (Alli rocked!)? The electric guitars? Last time was pretty must acoustic. I don't know, but I'm glad she enjoyed it. We all had a great time.


jelly | October 11, 2009 at 11:28 AM

Brandi Carlisle is amazing.
Glad to hear you had a great time at her show!


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