Kathleen Edwards with Hannah Georgas at the Phoenix; Saturday February 11, 2012

Do you know what’s astounding? Three years ago this week was the last time I saw Kathleen Edwards live. I think both Edwards and I have come a long way in just three measly years.

Edwards’ Voyager is a complete masterpiece, it has to be my favourite release of 2012 so far. Her live show was no different, also winning my favourite show of the year rank.

As an opener we got Hannah Georgas, a lovely gal from Vancouver. Her voice is delicate but assertive, an odd juxtaposition that worked really well with her two piece act. Her entire set I kept thinking how she was missing something, perhaps a band. She later came out and sang the Big Star tune “September Girls.” Just standing next to Kathleen, Georgas really had nothing on her. This speaks at great lengths of Kathleen’s warm voice and stage persona. I gotta say though, Georgas was wearing the most electric blue, backless sequin dress. Gorgeous little frock.

Kathleen dressed down, but looked absolutely radiant. She wore brown cigarette fit corduroy pants with no shoes! She instead laid down a large throw where she stood on stage. Much like her new album, she opened up with the tune “Empty Threat.” Just a really feel good song that works absolutely perfectly as an opener.

Edwards is a feisty thing. Both shows I’ve seen her play she’s dropped a few F-bombs and other bold things to say as a live performer. At one point she even bit her stand-in pianist’s arm during a song, just because he was wearing a Jeff Healy Band shirt. Her eccentric live personality was absolutely invigorating, feeling less like a stage show and that she actually wanted to be there.

There was a sense of excitement for new tunes. It really has been three or four years since her gorgeous album Asking For Flowers, it must be real nice to be able to play new tunes.

Part way through the set she said she had to clear the pink elephant out of the room. Someone yelled “JUSTIN VERRRRNOON!” Kathleen yelped an awkward “What??” I got a chuckle because secretly I wanted Vernon to make an appearance. Her pink elephant was the absence of Jim Bryson’s presence, a man I really appreciate! He just had a baby the night before and took time off to spend with his family. Kathleen, much like the last show went on about how she was longing to propagate. Again, getting another chuckle because last gig she made comments about her “longing womb.” This time around she just made remarks about visiting the humane society to pick up more loyal pets. She also made comments about her brother was going to have a kid tomorrow, specifically stating in surprise how her sister-in-law had sex with her brother. Petty sibling banter.

I was really happy to hear most, if not all of her new album Voyager. The only song I didn’t hear of hers that I wanted to was “The Cheapest Key.”

Kathleen is a performer. Seeing her live just fills me with such a warmth. I love that she’s now with Bon Iver frontman and Grammy award winner Justin Vernon. She made a comment about how she had to be in LA tomorrow… I didn’t put two and two together until my pal messaged me day after the show to tell me that our boy Justin Vernon had one a Grammy with Edwards at his side. How awesome is that? I hope these two last longer than Zooey Deschanel and Ben Gibbard. I love match made in heaven couples!

2009 gig review of Kathleen Edwards


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