Artist: Kate Voegele
Venue: Highline Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: Angel Taylor
Label: MySpace Records/Interscope
I would have to say that singer/guitarist Kate Voegele has certainly been keeping herself busy because I had only caught her performing back in September 2008 as she supported her album “Don’t Look Away”, and here she was again doing some area gigs and getting set to release a brand new CD. The last time around she performed at The Fillmore NY and tonight we would find her at the more intimate setting of the Highline Ballroom. Given the layout of this particular space, I had to think that her fans were in for much more of a treat. There is a large open floor which allows the fans to get right up to the stage. She would have two openers performing with her in Brannon Powers and Angel Taylor and another highlight of the gig would be that it was going to start a lot earlier than that September show. Here is how the sold out performance went down.
Brannon Powers: I had missed most of this duets set by the time that I had gotten into the venue but had to say that they were playing a very pleasant brand of acoustic music that had the fans who were inside already so we wish them well in their adventures. Brannon hails from Missouri and is the lead singer and guitarist. He is musically accompanied on piano by Jill Powers who’s a performing guitarist in her own right.
Angel Taylor: Accompanied by a guitarist, the sweet soulful sounds of Angel Taylor were delivered adeptly while the singer also played a piano that was set up for her. She had a great voice and was keeping everyone’s attention with her style. There were quite a few more people in place now and the artist is signed to Aware Records which appears to be a division of Columbia Records. In addition to her own tunes she delivered a track by Kings Of Leon and wisely was making CD samplers available at the merchandise table for those who had interest in hearing some more. With the samplers holding two or three songs she can only succeed in this endeavor because the Kate fans appeared to be enjoying her. Angel was also seen walking around the venue talking to people who wanted to say hello or pose for a quick photo. The night was moving really fast now, and it was just passed 8pm with the venue at full capacity as Kate’s team prepared the stage for her. It goes without saying that the girls were going absolutely insane when the lights went down and the band began to play.
Kate Voegele: I found it interesting to see that while Kate’s new CD is entitled “A Fine Mess” that she would call her tour the “Lift Me Up” tour. I guess that it sounds a little more positive by doing so in the end. As I mentioned earlier, I had caught her back in September and was impressed enough as a music fan to come down and see just how well her return would be met and the jam packed house at The Highline Ballroom was a clear sign to her overall appeal and fan dedication. The new CD was not yet out and was coming in a few days shortly after this show and the lead single that she is running with is “Silver Linings” which I am told she has already performed on the television show that brought her to a larger level of popularity, One Tree Hill. Tonight she would open up her show with a new track from the CD in “99 Times” and it’s a nice rocking intro number that everyone in the audience already seemed to know. One would expect that outlets like MySpace are to be thanked for this with their constant streaming of artist releases these days and given the fact that Interscope and MySpace Records are working together on Kate’s world domination, there is surely a lot of power pushing her music into the path of potentially new listeners. She was all smiles as she performed and one can observe the absolute connection she has with her ardent fan base. I’ve seen a lot of shows over the years and have watched many performers “act out” their overall happiness to be in any particular place and with this in my own arsenal I had to give Miss Voegele a lot of credit for being one of the most authentic I have seen and congratulate her for her “realness”. There are a lot of pretty faces in the Pop Rock world and it’s a pleasant change to be able to see one of the real deal ones in such an intimate setting.
The set tonight would pay attention to the previous album “Don’t Look Back” but also give the audience a decent sampling of what they would find on her new release. I loved the song “Chicago” from the last album and its wonderful groove had everyone singing along with her. It seemed as though the smiles and voices of the crowd was giving Kate and extra level of appreciative energy and she made no bones about thanking them again and again. Kate’s band features Sam Getz (guitar), Mark Tobik (bass), Bob Matthews (drums) and Brett Lindemann (keyboards). This evening would be the last night of touring for the keyboard player and Kate told everyone how much she loved having him on the tour and about how he would be greatly missed. This was a nice touch and showed the guys to be as much a part of what Kate is doing as she is. As the set continued along I had to say that tunes like “It’s Only Life” even had me humming along and tapping my foot when I did not need to be steady to take photos. When I looked around I saw many of the cell phones recording video, so I am convinced that a good chunk of this show is on You Tube or peoples MySpace pages. Let’s hope that this prompts Kate to release some sort of DVD video along with her next album to take advantage of this interest in her shows. There were also some considerable amounts of photos being taken and it had me wondering how many of the people chose to watch the gig through their LCD screen as opposed to with their own eyes tonight. I am of course hoping for the latter since there is nothing like seeing an artist you admire in a small club.
The crowd banter continued as she told the crowd about how much she enjoys playing in NYC because it’s such a special place for her. She went on to say that the song “Manhattan From The Sky” was actually written as she looked down on the city while arriving from a tour. She would thank Interscope and MySpace Records and of course her opening acts and then close it out with a very energetic “Only Fooling Myself”. Altogether there were sixteen numbers in the set list tonight and with the early start time there would be no issue with her doing a meet and great session with some of the fans who had been given this opportunity. I watched from the sidelines as Kate met with a number of the fans who had brought her posters or homemade trinkets and was pleased to observe how everything was met with a warm smile, a handshake and the inquiry as to whether or not they wanted to take a photo with her. She encouraged everyone to keep writing and keep listening to the music and her appreciation was so sincere it was making some of the young ladies sob. I was glad that I caught her performance this evening and felt that in many aspects that it was even better than the last time around. She is using the success she is finding on the television show very effectively and seems to be playing all of her cards right. While she seems to have a largely younger female audience I had to say that her music holds a lot of appeal and should be paid attention to by anyone who enjoys female vocalists with catchy and inspiring numbers.
Kate’s popularity is also growing in leaps and bounds based on the Internet and in a media world where the printed page is slowly becoming a thing of the past, it’s the fan-based sites that are keeping an artists activity and image in play more and more. I encountered no less than 25 Kate Voegele fan sites when I first looked into her music for some more insight and IMHO the ones that readers should look more into are presented as follows: Kate-Voegele.com, Kate-Voegele.net & KateVoegele.org – Of course these are nice additions to ones web-surfing when you want to look beyond what is to be found on the official artist page. As far as how to get on those meet and greet things, well, your guess is as good as mine and I say watch the news on those links to see what you can find out so you can be a part of one of them in a city near you.
Full Kate Voegele Photo Gallery: http://piercingmetal.com/kate-voegele-live-photos-highline-ballroom-5132009/
1. 99 Times
2. One Way Or Another
3. Playing With My Heart
4. Wish You Were
6. Sweet Silver Lining
7. It’s Only Life
8. Say Anything
9. Lift Me Up
10. I Get It
11. Inside Out
12. No Good
13. Kindly Unspoken
15. Manhattan From The Sky – written as title denotes. thanks interscope and opeers.
16. Only Fooling Myself – closer
Below is a photograph of the tour bus that was parked outside of the Highline Ballroom venue. It was so nicely done up that we had to share a snapshot of it with you all. Needless to say there was a line of people outside of it hoping to see Kate when she left to get into the show and afterward as fans hoped to meet her.