Kris Allen, Angel Taylor and the Barenaked Ladies performed at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on Thursday night. I'd write up a recap/review/whatever, but there really aren't enough hours in the day to get such things accomplished in between concerts (Keith Urban tonight, Kris again on Saturday). Perhaps later I can fill in more thoughts, but for now, this will have to suffice.
Angel Taylor is absolutely lovely, as is her music. And I decided halfway through her first song that I would buy her CD. Her set was very short - maybe four songs - but she utilized her set to full effect. Her cover of Radiohead's "Creep" was awesome, and after previously talking about dancing to "Single Ladies", she surprised us at the very end of her set by actually singing a few lines from it:
After Angel's set, myself and two of the other three people I came with went to the merch table to buy her CD (the fourth person in my party already had it), and - score! - it was only $7 at the merch table. I was pleased, also, to see that she had a long enough line of people waiting for her to sign stuff that I couldn't wait or I might miss Kris. So let Angel Taylor here be an example of why opening is a good thing - it gives artists a chance to expose their music to new audiences, and just maybe they will buy your music and become fans.
I came into the show expecting to see Kris's typical set when he opens, with some variation of "Can't Stay Away", "Heartless/Gangsta's Paradise", "The Truth", "Alright With Me", "Man In The Mirror", "Is It Over", "Live Like We're Dying" and "Come Together". It did start out that way, but then Kris threw a little bit of a curveball by replacing "Man in the Mirror" with his Radiohead cover of "Paranoid Android"! Well played, Kris Allen. Well played. It was fantastic and absolutely the right call to pull out the "street cred" song.
Kris sounded fantastic. He really does get better and better each time I've seen him. No lie. This might have been the best (non-acoustic) The Truth I've heard. I noticed a few subtle changes he had made in songs from previous shows - Heartless in particular, a new ad-lib line on Is It Over (don't take another step baby), and there was also a new glory note he threw in at the end of Live Like We're Dying that sounded really cool. He even dressed it up a bit with a vest over his white t-shirt. Everything was just A+.
It's hard for me to gauge what the crowd response was because I was sitting with a bunch of Kris fans, but I did noticed a guy stand up to cheer Andrew after his guitar solo in "Is It Over". And after Kris's set, a good amount of people gave him a standing ovation. :)
Videotaping was a bit of a fail whale. Since we were sitting near the aisle, right by the usher, I got busted near the end of the first song for videoing, so I only surreptiously taped Paranoid Android and most of Can't Stay Away.
Can't Stay Away (partial):
What I saw of Barenaked Ladies was fun. I really enjoyed hearing "One Week", "The Old Apartment" and "Pinch Me", as well as their encore medley of "Empire State of Mind/I Gotta Feeling/Baby/California Gurls". They just make stuff up on the fly; it's hilarious. Sometimes, though, it's hard to tell when they're just making stuff up or they're really singing a real song. Like, there was one song that had this circus sound to it, with banjos and lord knows what else being played, so I thought this was going to be one of their ad-libs, but they started singing, and the subject matter was so serious ("Tonight Is The Night I Fell Asleep At The Wheel"). I was just kind of ... WHAAAAT?!
Angel came out and sang "Every Subway Car" from their new album:
OK that's about enough from me. Go see these people live for yourselves. Support live music! Oh, and if you want to be spoiled on Inception, go watch a BNL concert. :P