Date: November 20th, 2015
Opening Band: Jillian Jacqueline
Band Link: www.carbonleaf.com
Friday night, Carbon Leaf were back in the city in support of their tour for the relaunch of “Love,Loss,Hope Repeat Reneaux” at the Gramercy Theatre. It’s been over a year since I saw the guys and was looking forward to it and shooting the show for the first time!
Opening the show was Jillian Jacqueline, singer-songwriter, who used to live in the city. You could tell she had some friends and family out for the show as well. Jillian Jacqueline put on a great set, with a blend of country, folk and Americana. I arrived a song late so only had time for 2 songs to shoot and quickly got set up while Jillian and the band got the crowd warmed up. Didn’t realize till Jillian introduced the band, but the drummer was Jillian’s sister Jillian joked that she had to stick her sister behind her in a drum kit. Jillian Jacqueline was a nice compliment to Carbon Leaf who play in similar genres.
Carbon Leaf were now up and came out to Billy Joel’s “Moving Out.” Their intro music always makes me laugh. Always so random. As always, the band always switch up their set lists and you get an excellent mix of all of their records. Mixing songs from their newer records and some favorites such as “Life Less Ordinary,” “Desperation Song,” and “What About Everything.” My favorites were played as well in “Lake of Silver Bells,” and “One Prairie Outpost.” Since “Love,Loss,Hope, Repeat,” was just re-done at their home studios and released again, the band played a few tracks from that record. As Barry Privett, singer, mentioned the band tries to release a new record every 8 months, which is mightily impressive in this day and age. Being an independent music group has it’s benefits in that regard. For being a band over 20 years, you can always just tell how tight they play as a group, the chemistry and quality of the songs that are put forth. Some bands might have folded and ended, gone on to other things, but Carbon Leaf is stronger than ever. This current nucleus of the group which has been going for what I think is 7 years or so is their best collective yet. Now, as a fan of the group, selfishly I want more new music as they like to release music so frequent. The last two records were re-recordings of popular records, so come on boys, I want even more new stuff.
Playing a solid 90 min plus set, the band took a departure from their usual “One Mic” group sing along and went completely unplugged, journeyed into the crowd for a song. Barry Privett wanted to let everyone how appreciative they are for all of us journeying out to the city, on what most people get are 2 “free nights” as most of us work the Monday-Friday grind. They also wanted to state how important it was to continue to enjoy shows especially with what happened in the world recently. Poignantly, they held a moment of silence before they broke out into “Dirty Bird (Learn to Fly.”) Barry and the group encouraged the fans to sing along quietly and it was really powerful, simple and emotional at times. Unplugged was the way to go to finish the set and ended a perfect set from the group. You can’t go wrong with Carbon Leaf. Songs that are catchy, filled with a mix of genres in Folk, Rock, Americana and Celtic, Carbon Leaf will always be a “Must-Go” concert for me. They should for you as well.
Here are some of my favorites: