Artist: Sarah Harmer
Date: October 6, 2000
Opening Act: She was actually opening for Billy Bragg
Venue: First Avenue
City: Minneapolis, MN
Review by [Amy Lotsberg] Producer of Collected Sounds
I had been looking forward to seeing Sarah Harmer for about a year now (as long as I’ve known she existed). I learned about her through Sarah Slean. Slean was supposed to perform a concert one day this past January but had laryngitis. Instead of canceling the show, she gathered some of her musician friends to sing the songs while she played them. As luck would have it the show was recorded and later, selected songs were posted on Sarah Slean’s website available for download. Check it out here on Sarah Slean’s web site One of the performances was Sarah Harmer singing “My Invitation”. I downloaded it, listened and though ‘wow’! I quickly went to Sarah Harmer’s web site and downloaded her song “The Hideout”. I immediately fell for her music and ordered her CD, “You Were Here”….See a review HERE
When the news hit that she was opening for Billy Bragg (who I would have gone to see anyway) I was ecstatic! I grabbed a bunch of friends who also liked Sarah and we headed down to First Avenue.
The opening/opening act was a man named Kevin So. He is Asian, which is neither here nor there, but he did sing songs about being Asian which is why I mention it. He was very good. He played guitar mostly, but also played keyboards on a song or two. His songs are mostly “folky” and he has a wonderful voice, very deep and smooth. I would definitely go see him again.
Sarah came on with her band, John Obercian on drums (he also played the slide guitar on a couple songs) and Kevin Fox on bass guitar and Cello. By the time they started the place was pretty crowded. I was happy to see this, as I think more people need to hear her music!
On both “Hideout” and “Open Window” they played the songs much slower than they are on the CD, but they still sounded great. I think “Basement Apt” was the hit of the evening. It certainly was for me, and the crowd seemed to respond the best to this one. She didn’t chitchat much, but she seemed to grab the audience just the same. I think she gained a few new fans.
Around this Corner
Uniform Grey – With cello and slide guitar
Weakened State – which she dedicated to Billy Bragg
Lodestar – with cello.