Over the past three years, there have only been a few out-of-town artists who have made the sort of impact on Bend's music scene as Brandi Carlile. Whether opening shows at the Les Schwab Amphitheater, like she did this summer for Ray LaMontagne and three years ago for Sheryl Crow, or headlining with her band at the Tower Theatre, Carlile has used her deftly crafted songs and booming voice to draw a crowd. In fact, she's sold out every show she's played at the Tower, including Monday night's gig.
Actually, to say that these shows have sold out is an understatement. Even when the Seattle folk-meets-rock singer had a two-date run booked in March of 2010, both shows were sold out in a matter of days. Bend loved Brandi Carlile, providing her ample radio play and standing ovations and by all appearances, it seems that she likes us back, given the litany of compliments she sends from the stage to the crowd during her performances.
But this time, Carlile is baring her soul, to a degree, by leaving her talented band - anchored by twin brothers Phil and Tim Hanseroth on guitar and bass - and performing a rare solo acoustic show. Those who know her music are familiar with the way in which Carlile can go from smooth and sultry ballads to booming rock anthems, sometimes within one song, as she does on "Dreams." But solo, it will be interesting to see what she can do with just a guitar (and/or likely a piano) and her powerful voice. This is her first solo tour, but don't expect Carlile to be out of place up on stage alone - having seen her perform solo a cappella numbers at her shows at the Tower, I can say she'll be do just fine.
Brandri Carlile, Secret Sisters
7pm Monday, December 19. Tower Theatre,
835 NW Wall St.