I’ve never claimed to be a reviewer. In the spirit of discovery – which is what newtunes is all about – I just try and present new music or ideas for your consideration. Hopefully, as we await the site launch (in just a little more than a month), I can lead you toward something that you really end up liking.
To that end, I saw She & Him last Friday night at the Barrymore. She & Him performed much to my expectations… and satisfaction. In some ways, it felt like being on the set of Walk The Line – for the June Carter scenes. In fact, it occurred to me that Zooey Deschanel might have been a much better June Carter than Reese Witherspoon.
But to me, the show was stolen by Becky Stark – She & Him’s backup singer who opened the show with her solo act.
Stark, who’s own band is called Lavender Diamond, began with an acapella song. But it wasn’t the song that had people. It was her timid, my-parents-told-me-i-had-to-perform approach to the entire show. Behind her nervous exterior was a confident assurance. The audience was led to believe that she was soft-spoken and nervous, but she was in control. Her sense of humor was brilliant and smart, and her voice was beautiful.
After her acapella number, she brought on She & Him’s bass player to accompany her on piano. Following that song, M. Ward came on to play guitar for her. Then Zooey came on and backed her on vocals and piano. Finally, the entire She & Him band joined her for the last few songs.
Unfortunately, I don’t know the titles of any of the songs played, but I was able to find some videos to assist in the illustration.
This first one just gives you a sense of her stage presence…
This second one is Zooey and Becky singing together…
It was interesting that given Deschanel’s performing background, she didn’t really seem to know how to engage with the audience. I enjoyed She & Him, but I think Becky Stark’s interaction with the crowd made her the top show of the evening.