Waiting outside in a line on one of the coldest days of the year is an incredibly unpleasant experience. In most situations, the act would not seem to be worth it. However, in the case of this night, it absolutely was. It was because, despite the cold, Grammy Award-winning artist Brandi Carlile was waiting for everyone inside.
The Fillmore, Minneapolis’ newest venue is deserving of a quick break-down, seeing that because it is owned by Live Nation, there’s bound to be plenty of future shows there. Walking in, you’re immediately met by security who have you empty your pockets so they may scan and pat you for dangerous objects. Afterward, you have the option of turning off to the bar/restaurant connected to the venue, entering the club’s floor, or using the restrooms. One thing done really well within the floor space is the accessibility to drinks. They not only have a full bar to the left of the doors, but there are also smaller stations around the walls offering cans of beers. The venue is not overwhelmingly large, and the stage is more intimate than distant.
The first to step onto this stage was Courtney Marie Andrews. A Phoenix-based singer/songwriter best described by a stranger in the crowd who I heard exclaim: “she sounds like Joni Mitchell.” Mitchell is in fact a fan of her music, said Brandi, who showed her some tracks. Earning the respect of an idol, and touring with Brandi Carlile, must be quite the cloud nine experience. If it was getting to her head or not, Marie showed no sign of showing as she continued to play song after song in a professional manner.
Brandie and the full band took the stage not long after Andrews stepped off. The band went into a jam that transitioned into hit song of their latest album, “Hold Out Your Hand.” Brandie, who I have always known to be Americana in manner, took me by surprise as she navigated the stage with the demeanor of a punk. She and the band kept up this energy as new navigated older deep-tracks, hits such as “The Story” and “The Joke” as well as when they paid tribute to legends before such as Aretha Franklin and Joni Mitchell.
Between seeing Brandie Carlile and checking out a brand-new venue, the night was certainly one to remember. Though a total of three shows might leave the impression that Carlile won’t be returning to the cities soon, I wouldn’t count on it. As one of the countries hottest artists right now, there will be no shortage of nearby organizers/festivals/venues that would love to have her make an appearance.