|Sharon Van Etten at Kings Barcade on March 11, 2011|
Fighting through a broken string, Sharon Van Etten put on quite the show to a packed out Kings Barcade last Friday on March 11. Whether it be through her stellar performance or crowd interaction (theres no wonder shes a Triangle favorite, it's pretty clear she enjoys the place as much as they enjoy her) Sharon was keeping the audience on its toes. The set consisted primarily of songs off of "Epic", but you'll find no complaints from me. I'll get more into Sharon's set a bit later though.
This was my first time at Kings and quite frankly I'm stoked that I finally got to see what all the fuss is about, it's a great location. The Tender Fruit opened up the night with a set that brilliantly set the pacing for the night, even though they battled through a few technical problems with the guitars. Christy Smith's voice soared through Kings and left me taken aback, a bit upset that I hadn't listened to The Tender Fruit before tonight. Songs like "Polar Bear" stuck out during the set and stuck with me throughout the night, and the harmonies provided by the lead guitarist really set the bar high for the next act, the indescribable Ava Luna.
If I had to lump any genres to better explain the sound of Ava Luna, I'd call them electro soul, but even then you're still left with a bit of a vague picture painted. When I saw the three singers set off to the side at the beginning of the set I knew we'd be in for a treat, and it was just that. Some of the songs felt a little bit same-y but when Ava Luna was on they were on. The way the three female vocalists would come in with soulful harmonies to compliment Carlos Hernandez's unique and jazzy pop vocals was superb. Ava Luna is doing something completely different and excelling, it's truly a breath of fresh air and was something that stuck out like a sore thumb at Kings. Stuck between this singer-songwriter sandwich of a bill at Kings, Ava Luna still shined bright and is definitely another band I'll be checking out more from.
Finally onto Sharon Van Etten's set, which was a great one. As previously stated most of the set was filled with songs from "Epic", Sharon's latest full-length effort. Songs from this included "Peace Signs", "A Crime", "One Day" (a video of which can be found below), and more. However, hearing songs like "Tornado" was great as well, not to mention the new song she played sounded excellent as well. A few songs into the set Sharon broke a string, but fell right back into the swing of things for the next song. The highlights of the set though was definitely when Sharon stepped behind the harmonium for "Love More" and for the final song of the encore with "Dsharpg", which she performed by herself. "Dsharpg" was played apprehensively after the request was yelled out, claiming that she hadn't played the song in at least a year, but she killed it. All in all it was an excellent night of music at Kings on Friday!