“Turn it inside out so I can see(yaa),
The part of you that’s drifting over me(yaa)”
“Everywhere” was, well, everywhere in the early ’00s. With its endearing lyrics that follow that tingly feeling of the beginning stages of falling in love and the catchy accompanying guitar riff, it’s not hard to wonder why. “Everywhere” was the perfect slice of guitar driven pop to momentarily offset the first coming of Max Martin’s Swedish reign over the industry and bolster in a more rock oriented sound with live instrumentation.
Brooklyn based band, HAERTS, opened the show at the Music Box with some fresh material they’ve been working on for their upcoming sophomore release. Nini Fabi’s powerful voice carried stellar cuts from the band’s self-titled debut LP, including the thumping and rebellious “All the Days” and breezy “Wings.” By chance, I got to chat quickly with Nini to express my love for them and especially their song “Hope,” which they closed their set with.
While Michelle Branch may not be as prominent as she once was, she continues to create and deliver accessible pop rock. I’ve kept a close ear to her music throughout the years, from her sophomore album, Hotel Paper, to her two smashes with guitar legend and icon Santana, and even to her venture into country with band The Wreckers. With each project, Branch continually showed artistry, quality and growth. It’s difficult to believe it’s been 14 years since her last proper LP, but there I was at the gorgeous Music Box, awaiting new songs.
Branch crafted a perfect blend of catalog songs that intertwined with new material off this year’s release Hopeless Romantic, making sure to appease every fan, new or old. New songs like “Best You Ever” and the anthemic torch song “Knock Yourself Out” fit seamlessly in with the achingly sweet acoustic “You Get Me” from her debut and 2003’s radio staple “Breathe.”
Where Branch glistens with happy love songs, she also excels on the other side of the spectrum with the dark, brooding title track “Hopeless Romantic” and the sulking “City,” both lifted from the latest release. Another favorite moment of the night was her stripped down version of country crossover cut, “Leave the Pieces.”
When Michelle performed “Goodbye to You” for the encore, I was instantly thrown back into The Bronze where Buffy and Spike shared their first kiss with Michelle strumming in the background.. okay, this was featured in Tabula Rasa (an episode of Buffy) but I will continue to retain the memory as my own. Behold the power of music placement! Michelle ended the evening with an acoustic version of the song that started it all, “Everywhere” which I loved as much, if not more than the original production.
Catch the Hopeless Romantic tour in a city near you and make sure you check out her latest album with the same title out now via Verve Records.
– Submitted by Tristan Bolden, Music Design