Last night, May 20, Sophie B. Hawkins played two shows at The Point in Bryn Mawr, PA. Amy and I were lucky enough to get tickets for the 10 p.m. show.
I first must admit that I didn’t have a clue who Sophie B. Hawkins was when I agreed to go to the show. Judging from her name, I expected a southern blues singer – remnants of my time living in Louisiana, I suppose. But as most people (other than yours truly) probably know, SBH is the person with two hits to her name, “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” and “As I Lay Me Down”.
Needless to say, I was not disappointed with the concert. The Point is a great venue to see most artists, and when you go to their more expensive shows, it seems that they only sell the number of tickets as they have chairs – a real bonus!
SBH is one of those frenetic, kinetic, chameleonish performers who is awash in energy in everything she does. Her music is driving, sultry, bubble-gum, and Dead-Headish. At times, SBH channels Janis Joplin at her peak. Trust me when I say that that is a Very Good Thing.
Some observations from the show last night: Who knew that the very large black man who is her drummer provides all the falsetto back-ups? I was stunned and delighted, and at one point when I caught his eye, we both broke out in massive grins. Her keyboardist reminds me of a cross between my dear friend Dr. JPT and Anthony Michael Hall in his Sixteen Candles era. After SBH told us that all three of them had only played a few gigs together, the keyboardist’s intense concentration made a bit more sense. SBH is incredibly talented musically. Besides being a stunning vocalist, she played (with a high degree of competence) acoustic guitar, electric guitar, djembe, and keyboards. The coordinated drum “solo” which all three of them performed was a testament to the joy they take in performing together. Whatever might have happened in SBH’s career to this point, it is obvious that she and her bandmates are reveling in playing with each other.
One of my favorite parts of the show last night was the aforementioned coordinated drum “solo” – they played about 6 or 7 minutes of driving rhythms. Immediately afterwards, SBH shed her drum, and transformed into the sultriest of chanteuses, singing a song off her newest album, Wilderness.
If you get the chance to see Sophie B. Hawkins perform live, jump on it. The ticket prices are higher than I expected, but it was worth every cent. Now I’m off to buy an album or two of hers, to begin my SBH collection.