Aimee Mann and her magic band with no electric guitars rolled into Greensboro Saturday for a great show at the historic Carolina Theatre.
On this tour, Mann decided to leave electric guitars at home bring two keyboard players out on tour. There are no electric guitars on her new album @#%&*! Smilers, but it was more interesting to hear the older songs with out them. Players Jebin Bruni and Jamie Edwards made use of a slew pianos, organs and synths to either mimic the guitar sounds of older songs or adapted the songs around the new setup.
The set relied heavily on the new album but included select tracks from Mann's previous albums as well and the Magnolia soundtrack. The band was as tight as they've every been and Mann's voice sounded great.
Towards the end of the set, Mann invited the winner of her YouTube contest on stage to sing with the band. The winner was Winston-Salem singer John Galt who performed his version of "Freeway" which won him the contest as well as a cover of the Kings of Leon song "Fans." Galt was confident on stage and definitely had some friends in the audience, but his performance was weak and a bit sloppy. I think most of the crowd including myself would've rather seen Mann perform "Freeway" herself. Check out the video that won Galt the contest here.
Mann's stage banter seems to get funnier and funnier every time I see her. This show included an explanation of how the song "Borrowing Time" was originally written for Shrek 3. The producers of the movie asked her to write a very "Yes I can!" song which Mann pointed out is "not my specialty." She also explained that during the process of pitching various versions of the song, the producers asked Mann if she could make the song sound more like Fall Out Boy. In the end, the song was rejected for inclusion in the movie but Mann re-wrote the lyrics and based them around the story of Snow White. She proceeded to rehash the entire plot of the story in a way only she could.
The night ended the hauntingly beautiful song "Deathly" from her album Bachelor No. 2 as well as the Magnolia soundtrack. Through the entire set, Mann delivered a great performance as she always does and left the crowd wanting more. I'll definitely be at her next show in the area.
Carolina Theatre set list:
Stranger To Starman
Looking For Nothing
The Great Beyond
That's Just What You Are
Red Vines (solo)
Freeway (John Galt on lead vocals)
Fans (Kings of Leon cover w/ John Galt on lead vocals)
Today's the Day
How Am I Different
Going Through the Motions