Artist: Vienna Teng
Date: November 5, 2005
Other musicians: Dina Maccabee (violin, viola, vocals)
Marika Hughes (cello, bass, vocals), Shahzad Ismaily (drums, guitar)
Venue: Rossi’s Blue Star Room
City: Minneapolis, MN
Review by [Amy Lotsberg] Producer of Collected Sounds
I would say that this is probably my favorite show of Vienna’s that I’ve attended.
The venue was gorgeous. It’s a jazz club and the atmosphere is very conducive to this kind of music (even though Vienna is not exactly jazz). The only thing I didn’t like was that it was a dinner show. Meaning you had to buy dinner in order to get a ticket. At least that’s what the man on the phone told me. But I saw people sitting at the bar who didn’t look like they had eaten dinner too. The food was very good and I’m glad we ate there. However, the service was not terribly fast and so we were eating during the show. It was a quite, small intimate venue so I felt like she could hear me chewing. A little uncomfortable. Also because the place I was seated my back was to her, so I could either watch Vienna or my steak, but not both.
But aside from that, the place is lovely. The sound was incredible. Vienna was incredible as expected.
One nice thing was that previously I had not seen her with three extra players. Up to now, I’d only seen her with Dina (violin) and Marika (cello). This time she had a man named Shahzad along who played drums and guitar (sometimes even both at the same time, which was pretty damn impressive).
Vienna said that they were attempting to learn an “extra” instrument each so that they could each play two. Marika learned the bass and did an excellent job with it on the new song, “Love Turns 40”. Vienna believes that since the piano is such a big instrument it ought to count for two. Since she’s writing all the songs, I’d say we can let her slide on the instrument thing.
I think perhaps the highlight for me was when Vienna played a new song, called “City Hall”. She explained that she’d hoped that it would be one of those songs where you wouldn’t know exactly what was going on unless you paid attention really closely. But tonight, we would be graced with some interpretive “dance (if you will) by Marika and Dina. The proceeded to act out every word of the song in pantomime/dance and it was hilarious.
All in all the show was excellent. Well worth the price of the ticket (which seeing as it included dinner at this spendy place wasn’t too expensive).
Here are the photos, as usual click on them to see larger view. You’re welcome to use them on your site, but you must host them yourself (no hotlinking) and you must give credit to Amy Lotsberg and link to Collected Sounds (www.collectedsounds.com).
1. Feather Moon
2. Blue Caravan
4. The Tower
5. Hope on Fire
6. Love Turns 40 (with Marika on Bass)
7. Now Three
8. 1BR/1BA (Shahzad on Guitar)
10. City Hall (with interpretive dance by Marika and Dina)
11. I Don’t Feel So Well
12. Unwritten Letter #1
14. Soon Love Soon
16. Green Island Serenade (a capella)