Prior to Meiko taking the stage at The Hotel Café Showcase, I had already heard people in the crowd talking about how excited they were to see her. I knew I was in for a treat. The showcase was held at St. David’s Sanctuary. The church atmosphere really added to the intimate feel and the acoustics helped highlight her strong vocals.
There’s often a difference between someone who is a musician and someone who is a performer; Meiko is both. Her banter with the crowd and her sharing the stories behind her songs helps audience members create their own personal connection. Her "baby making" song Leave the Lights On had the audience grooving to the unmistakably catchy beat. She followed up with some other new songs off her upcoming album, Bright Side, including the first track Stuck On You. The fans seemed eager and overjoyed to hear new her songs after the 4-year gap between albums. Meiko is definitely an artist to watch. She's on the rise and if today’s performance is any indication, she’s not turning back.
Following Meiko's great performance, I was able to catch the duet known as The Milk Carton Kids. Think a bit Simon and Garfunkel, a bit country, all mixed with incredible guitar playing. The highlight of the set was when one member, Joey Ryan, informed the crowd that Kenneth, the other member of the duo was expecting a daughter. There were some "ahhh's" in the crowd the story continued that he was going to name her Charlie and had already written her a song. We were then told Kenneth might need to do a few things before she's born, mainly finding a girlfriend or wife to have said planned baby with. The crowd was laughing throughout the set, as their banter only made these two more enduring and welcoming.
After the witty and talented duo left the stage I could barely contain my excitement for The Lumineers. Having previously reviewed one of their Chicago shows, I became hooked on this wonderfully talented band and have had no problem telling anyone that would listen that they should become a fan of them too. I have previously stated that this would be one of my most anticipated albums of 2012 and their performance validated that anticipation. Surrounding the crowd, with one member in each corner of the church, they engulfed us with sound as they played a moving acoustic number, only to then run back to the stage and close the set with everyone on their feet, singing, clapping and dancing. If this happened every time I set foot in a church, I would be a far more religious person. The Lumineers are about to embark on a tour, try and catch them. You'll be happy you got a chance to see a band this talented live.
Photos (c) Daniela Montelongo