Monday, April 18, 2011

Aimee Mann plays new songs, classics for sold out ArtsCenter crowd

All photos by Kevin Norris
Singer-songwriter Aimee Mann closed her tour last night in Carrboro at the ArtsCenter, marking her first visit to the Triangle since playing the Carolina Hope Festival in Cary in 2006.

After opening with "High on Sunday 51" by herself, she was joined by longtime collaborator bassist Paul Bryan and keyboardist Jamie Edwards. The group rolled through songs from Mann's last two albums, @#%&*! Smilers and The Forgotten Arm.

In the middle of the set, Mann took the opportunity to play three new songs. The first two, "You've Got To Be Willing To Hurt the One You Love" and "Eiffel Tower" were written for a potential musical based on The Forgotten Arm. Mann said the project is now on hold while she and Bryan rework some things. "We watched The Fighter," she said, the success of which is a potential problem since the story of the album also centers around boxer with a drug problem.

The third new song is a catchy pop tune called "Charmer," which Mann said will be recorded for a new album that they're going to start once the get home from the tour.

After coming out of the new tunes with a few songs from the album Lost in Space, the Magnolia portion of the set began and closed the main set. Four songs from the soundtrack were played, including the slightly more rare inclusion "Build That Wall" along with the standards "Save Me" and "Wise Up." The set ended with Mann's version of Harry Nilsson's "One."

After a quick break, Mann batted down a barrage of requests and played "31 Today" and the fantastic Bachelor No. 2 song "How Am I Different." Then, she decided to take one of the requests, playing a mostly solo version of "Red Vines," joined by Bryan and Edwards at the end of the song.

Mann noted that she was going to close the show on a low note, which is her style, playing the beautifully sad "It's Not." With that, the show was over and notably missing from the set was the classic "Deathly," featured on the Magnolia soundtrack. It's been a staple her sets for years, so maybe it was time to retire it for a while.

Aimee Mann is one of the great living songwriters of today and the more she performs, the better her live shows get. She's quite charming and not afraid to banter back and forth with the crowd, making for a great time between great songs.

Set list
High on Sunday 51
Looking For Nothing
Little Bombs
Going Through the Motions
Medicine Wheel
You've Got To Be Willing To Hurt the One You Love
Eiffel Tower
Today's the Day
Guys Like Me
Build That Wall
Save Me
Wise Up
31 Today
How Am I Different
Red Vines
It's Not

1 comment:

Matt said...

Wish I could have been there, I have been dreaming (and emailing) that she should come to Indiana, but to no avail.