Marissa Nadler, Janel & Anthony @ Rock'n'Roll Hotel, Washington DC - July 8, 2014.
Janel & Anthony
I'm still on the sick side of life, but am healthy enough to partake in this excellent double bill tonight. First up are long time locals who are international successes in their own right. If you have not seen them before, you should rectify that some time, as they continued their string of never delivering anything short of a great set, at least to these ears.
Their music is mostly instrumental, making the two cuts that Janel sings on all the more striking with her heavenly tones. Musically, her cello and his guitar always cook up exciting sounds that go from lush to striking with thoughtful and dramatic transitions. There is some powerful music headed toward the drone rock terrain, yet has playful underpinnings.
It was great to see two acts tonight who are this talented as it allowed for a 47 minute set that was vibrant the whole way through. The crowd contained plenty of fans, so everything clicked (even if the thunderstorm and early start caused some late arrivals--even me for the first few minutes).
I am a long time fan of Marissa Nadler's music. Her songs are brilliant enough on their own, but she has a real bonus for us tonight. Janel & Anthony are on the full tour, so she has recruited Janel to add cello, backing vocals, and a bit of keyboards for her full set.
This added sound matches the further expansive nature of Nadler's songwriting over the years. She has really found her muse with dense thoughtful songs that run the emotional gamut, while sounding so fresh and intriguing. Add the extra Janel touch and this set was quite magical.
The modest crowd were as enthusiastic as metalheads, while being quite respectful during the quiet moments. Marissa Nadler continues to grow into one of the more important folk based singer songwriters in this or any country.
(1) Marissa Nadler (unknown).