This Wednesday, eager fans braved the freezing night air to line up outside the Blind Pig. Bundled in sweaters and scarves, fans chattered excitedly about singer-songwriter, Kate Voegele, who was set to perform later that night. The line stretched far down the road, and once the doors opened the crowd rushed inside and clumped around the stage as they waited for the opening act to begin. I had never heard of the opening act, Briar Rabbit, before the show. And boy, was I missing out! Sporting a goofy grin and a red beanie, Briar Rabbit took the stage with only an acoustic guitar. As soon as he began playing, the crowd couldn’t help but nod their heads to the beat. With a soft, charming voice, Briar Rabbit captivated the audience with his music.
But like all amazing musicians, Briar Rabbit didn’t just play some music. He really put on a show. Pausing during his song to take photos of the crowd or say, “Bless you!” to someone who had sneezed, Briar kept the crowd laughing. That he loves what he does is obvious and he definitely entertained the audience. And who could ever forget his fantastic rendition of the oldie-but-goodie “Baby One More Time”. I have a huge crush on this guy now. His music is stunning, his personality is radiant, and he was perfect for warming up the crowd and creating a good-vibe atmosphere.
After Briar Rabbit played his final song, he cracked a few more jokes before leaving the stage to wild applause. The crowd then waited anxiously for Kate Voegele to take the stage. And of course, as soon as the adorably tiny singer walked into the spotlight, everyone erupted in delighted cheers. Kate looked stylish as ever in a graphic muscle tee (it read: Led Bloody Zeppelin That’s Who), leather shorts, patterned tights, combat boots, a metallic arm cuff, and a perfectly corresponding beaded statement necklace. It’s the kind of outfit you dream about wearing, but know you couldn’t pull off. Kate, of course, rocked it like a champ.
As soon as she began her opening song, "Manhattan From the Sky", the crowd instantly started moving their hips and bopping their heads. Girls sang along as Kate took charge of the show with her two male band mates playing the guitar and cajon. She sang a couple of amazing songs from her new EP, Wild Card, which came out a week before the show, but also threw it back with some songs from her first album.
One of my favorite songs that she sang came from her new EP was " Carousel", and it’s definitely worth a listen. An upbeat country-pop hybrid, the song was a total jam session and the crowd loved it. But her new hits didn’t stop there. She slowed it down soon after with her phenomenal rendition of “When I’m Gone”. (I’m sure you’re all familiar with the headache-inducing "Cup Song" that every girl in the world tried to replicate by slamming plastic cups on tables.) Of course, with Anna Kendrick as the instigator of the fad, how could it not be successful? Even Kate herself admitted to her insane girl crush on the Pitch Perfect star. But Kate’s rendition didn’t involve cups or a pop beat. Instead, she slowed the beat down and added in some chilling background singers. I'm a sucker for a great cover, so I adored this performance.
Kate truly knows how to perform, interacting with the crowd after every song and pouring her heart into all of her “shit about life” songs, as she likes to put it. In the middle of the concert, her drummer went offstage and reappeared minutes later with two beers for the men and a shot of Jack Daniels for Kate. After a few rounds of, “take the shot!” chants by the crowd, Kate toasted to the audience and took the whiskey like a stud.
Her encore consisted of my absolute favorite song, "Forever and Almost Always". I guess I must have a soft spot for slow, acoustic songs, but this one is one that always hits home. It was the perfect choice for an encore. As she struck the last chord, the crowd erupted in one final cheer and Kate thanked Ann Arbor for being amazing, as usual.
We will have to wait with baited breath for the release of Kate’s next album, expected sometime next year, and for now settle for getting our Kate Voegele fix through low-quality Youtube videos and, if you happened to be there, memories of this amazing concert Even though the weather was bitingly cold, it was well worth it to venture down to the Blind Pig to watch two absolutely incredible artists fill the venue with energy, passion, and of course, good music.