I found out about Jillian Rae’s CD/Vinyl release show purely by accident when a friend RSVPed to the event on Facebook. I got curious, took a closer look and as the timing worked added it to my Saturday schedule.
Jillian Rae certainly has no shortage of projects she is working on, and the 4 track EP “Wanderlust” is but a taste of what is coming on the full length album she is working on. When I arrived at the Icehouse with 5 minutes to spare, congratulating myself on my sense of timing (I was coming from the PVRIS show at the Skyway) only to discover that the show had started early. Rushing into the Icehouse my eyes and ears were immediately drawn to the stage (so much that I almost wiped on the stairs). Wow! Talk about stage presence……..
There’s an IT factor that separates good performers from the great and Jillian sure has it. It’s the little things, hand gestures, facial expressions and body posture that can control a room. And of course there is the music. Rae’s songs move seamlessly from almost country sounding to indie rock and cross a few genres in between. Her cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” was dead on and then on “When Doves Cry” she not such much covered the Prince tune as re-interpreted it with a husky voice.
And her own music is nothing to sneeze at either. “Helpless” was one of my personal favorites with a solid blues-rock feel. “Nebraska” was another one – Chris Koza helps out on the album. If you get a chance to check out Jillian Rae live – jump at it.
Oh, and thanks Fred for helping me discover another Twin Cities Gem.
Set List: Somebody / Lay it to rest / Inebriated / Wanderlust / Breathe / Nebraska / Free / Dreams / Heart in a Jar / Heartbeat / Superlungs / Don’t Think / Doves / Chains / Helpless Encore: Stickshifts
The last band of my 2 shows / 5 band evening was sister trio Laska from Eau Claire. They released their debut album “Ceiling Zero” in the summer. They have the harmonies that make sibling bands so special and I enjoyed the melodic songs that evolved nicely to more complex ones through their set.