REVIEW: My Brightest Diamond @ Mississippi Studios (Portland, OR – 11/6/11)
FYI… PHOTOS of the SHOW at the BOTTOM
I can’t go on enough about how much I love My Brightest Diamond and how much I love her newest album, All Things Will Unwind. She hasn’t planned a full tour under this record (yet), but when I saw she was playing a couple one-offs in Seattle and Portland, I jumped out of my chair.
While hitting both shows in a scenario like this isn’t uncommon for me, I showed some restraint and only hit the Portland show…
The opener, Netherfriends, is currently in Portland this week for a “residency” of sorts. Several shows at the Mississippi Studios and two DJ sets (one at Aalto Lounge and one at Beech Street Parlour). He was a veritable one-man rockfolktronic wrecking crew. After his first song, I wasn’t sure what to expect… he powered through some technical difficulties and ripped through 35-40 minutes of fun energy.
Very danceable, very off-kilter, a little spastic, but grounded in melody. Sort of like Holy Fuck, if they were a one-man band. Beatboxing, electronic drums, loops, Harry Nilsson covers (see below).
What’s more to love? Check him out (free downloads here)!
Since it was billed as a “Shara Worden solo show,” I expected a more stripped down My Brightest Diamond set. Oh, was a wrong… she came out initially in costume (mask, fabric bubbles on her shirt) and danced along to a pre-recorded instrumental number, then immediately took off her mask and started in with the lead-off track, “We Added It Up.” She donned the mask again for “Be Brave“…
She mixed up the set a bit with ukulele, keyboards, pre-recorded drums and strings, acoustic guitar, rockin’ electric guitar, mbira (below), and a hand-held harp-like instrument.
Setlist: just over an hour
- Instrumental #1 with dance
- We Added It Up
- Everything is in Line
- Golden Star
- Escape Routes
- Instrumental #2 with dance
- Be Brave
- She Does Not Brave the War
- There’s a Rat
- High Low Middle
- Feeling Good [Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newley]
- I Have Never Loved Someone [for her son]
- Inside A Boy
- Encore: Be My Husband [Nina Simone]
My favorite songs of the night were “Be Brave” and “Inside A Boy,” but honestly, I enjoyed it all intently. Even the almost-too-cutesy-for-me “There’s a Rat” was brought to new heights for me with Shara’s adorable story about her rehabbing her “fixer-upper” that she and her husband recently bought in Detroit.
more photos below
I hope she does a bigger/longer tour for the record… but if she doesn’t Portlanders & Seattlites can count themselves blessed.
The Appropriate Linkage:
- My Brightest Diamond’s Website
- MBD’s record label: Asthmatic Kitty
- MBD music video compendium (non-exhaustive, but pretty chock full)
- My Brightest Diamond’s Social Media Links (see below)
- Netherfriends’ Bandcamp Site (tons of free downloads)
- Netherfriends’ Blog / Facebook / MySpace / Twitter
- My Other Related Reviews & Links~
- Mississippi Studios’ Site / Facebook / Twitter
Next show for me… Puscifer tonight (11/7) in Seattle, then a three-day run by Peter Mulvey (11/10 @ Sam Bonds in Eugene, 11/11 @ private house concert in Creswell, 11/12 @ Majestic in Corvallis).
MY BRIGHTEST DIAMOND (SHARA WORDEN)
& THE NETHERFRIENDS PHOTOS
all pictures (cc) 2011 Daniel Temmesfeld,
you may use freely under a creative commons attribution
(click for larger)