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Aimee Mann Displays Her Talents

November 23rd, 2010

Aimee Mann – Music Hall of Williamsburg – November 22, 2010

Aimee Mann - Music Hall of Williamsburg - November 22, 2010
Aimee Mann walked out onstage before a sold-out audience at Music Hall of Williamsburg Monday night and announced that it was the end of the tour and that we’d be getting the “punch drunk” show. Looking serious in a blazer, tie and black-framed glasses, she proceeded to play “The Moth” solo with just her beautiful acoustic guitar to accompany her. This balance of playful chitchat and deep, pensive songsmanship characterized the rest of the night as Mann displayed her extreme talents for both.

The stage was rounded out to a trio with a bassist and keyboardist for the rest of the night, starting with a nice version of “Freeway.” It’s rare to see a grand piano on the stage at Music Hall, but it was well used by Jamie Edwards, who moved among the piano, synthesizer and Fender Rhodes, from song to song. Mann took a seat at the piano with her classic self-deprecating “I only know three chords,” playing “Medicine Wheel”—alone at first, and then with Edwards sharing the bench for a quick solo on the other end of the piano and an outro on the Rhodes.

The audience mirrored Mann’s mood: playful between numbers, deathly quiet during them. She apologetically played three new songs—tunes that will become a part of an in-progress adaptation of her Forgotten Arm album—that turned out to be a nice change of pace. The set closed with some crowd-pleasers from the Magnolia soundtrack, “Save Me” and “Wise Up,” with most in the crowd resisting the urge to join in on the vocals. Things got particularly giddy during the encore as Mann, entertaining requests, joked that they should be sent by paper airplane. After a crisp version of “Red Vines” and a lyric-book-aided “Invisible Ink,” a paper airplane did make its way to the stage and Mann stayed true to her word, pleasing at least one person with “Video.” Well, probably more than one person. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Macchiarelli | www.jennylow.com