Sigh.

Poor Sophie. Some audience members stood up and left after a couple songs. I guess it wasn’t what they originally came for. No standing ovation at the end…
I admire Sophie and her voice. Wow, so deep and sexy.

It’s too bad she doesn’t play it up to the audience tonight. As I was stepping out the Centre tonight, I realized why she wasn’t as memorable of an act when she came to town earlier in the summer for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

She was making love to the floor all night.
As I run over to grab the bleach to scrub your dirty minds, I mean she just didn’t play it up to the audience.
Sophie wasn’t really connecting with the audience.

I totally understand when performers really get into the melody and lyrics onstage, they belt it out with their eyes closed. I’m more forgiving with musicians, because they have to focus on hitting the right note on their instruments so they really have to somewhat block the distracting audience. For performers however- If I’m coming to see you in person, I expect a great performance of the set and also the connection with the fans. Take out that “connecting” with the audience, I’m not shelling out any of my hard-earned cash for a concert ticket. I know playing the album at home would guarantee sound-quality of her tracks- because of course every performer sounds different in a live performance and in a studio-setting. I wonder if she played many mid-sized or large venues. Her performance is more suited for a smaller place, like the Commodore or some lounge…. Her head was down for most of her performance… did I pay to see her singing to us or the stage floor?

Her set was pretty much the same, or perhaps identical to the one she did in Vancouver earlier this year at the Jazz Festival. Yes, we can hear you Sophie. We feel your emotions and your soul through your voice, but where were those eyes?

They say “the eyes are the windows to your soul”.
What is the first thing most photographers do first to a portrait?
They retouch the eyes.

Bring the light, adding the gleam in the eyes add life into the performance.
Facing the audience is one thing, but those eyes need to stay open and pass over every person in the audience.
Last night she was hiding too much from the audience.

Moving on to a positive note- back to the first set, as Sophie was actually the main act.

Michael Kaeshammer was awesome.
His performance reminds me of a cross between Jamie Cullum and Harry Connick, Jr.
Michael didn’t quite get on top of the piano and jumped around the stage, like Jamie, but one can see how a piano can be musical without the ivories.
Those fingers were mighty fast, some of the songs had a Southern, rag-time feel.

Gesturing his hands toward empty seats- it wasn’t exactly a full house at The Centre tonight- the audience laughed as he said, “Come-on in” to the late arrivals.

I’ve got to get a hold of his previous album because this new release, Days Like These, looks like it’s his first album featuring his vocals. He’s spectacularly fast on the piano.

In the middle of his set, he was chatting with the audience and asked if there were any requests.
There were about 4-5 requests being shouted out, so Michael who started to look a little flustered said,
“Whoah, looks like I might need to come back tomorrow night.”
Turning to curtains and backstage, he asked a crew member if he had a paper and pen.
It seemed like ages passed when the man answered, “Are you kidding?!”

We were in hysterics.
Michael and his band were like comedians without words while they were jamming.
I can’t completely describe the way they played in words, but the little “dings” and bass moments were hilarious.

During intermission, I ran to grab a couple of CDs and plopped back in my seat.
I saw Marcus had called (he was sitting with his friends in another row) while I was chatting with the couple beside me.

“Where the hell are you, why aren’t you here?”

“Where?”

“Michael is signing CDs by the bar!”

“What?!” and I bolted out the doors. I ran a couple flights, and I realized that he was on the second from the main floor, not the second from the orchestra floor. Oops…

The line-up was hilarious- “hurry-up, stop chatting, get these signed!”
Super cool and friendly, too bad he only had this time during intermission to sign stuff.
Marcus complained- “Hey, you’re holding up the line, stop talking so much Yumi”.
I couldn’t help it, I really only threw a couple compliments his way. Sheesh.

Anyways, I can’t wait for Michael to come back to town again.
I’d better keep my eye for future appearances at the Cultch.

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