Election night also marked the last stop on Sophie Barker’s West Coast tour at Mississippi Studios in Portland, OR. Amongst the cheers and boos in the next room, Barker and her band played a deliciously down tempo show for a captivated, albeit small audience. As the media confirmed Obama’s re-election, Barker played a lovely variety of old songs, covers and newer tracks from her album Seagull. We were even treated to a song slated to come out next year, “I Do It To Myself.” Fans can expect a more rockin’ side of Barker to emerge, with punchier percussion and more of the strings that accompany her now.
Portland’s Suzanne Tufan opened for Barker, and while I’ve never heard of Tufan, I thoroughly enjoyed her sassy songs and swagger. Tufan should be better known than she is, and playing a show with Barker certainly helped her out! Here’s a video of her song “Flowers” to give a taste of Tufan.
Barker’s set was a perfect mix of songs- the audience got to hear “Destiny,” a great Zero 7 song as well as a fabulous cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman.” I’m so glad I had my camera at the ready for that one!
I think part of what made Barker’s show so great was her passionate and talented band. She had a nice variety of instruments represented: Strings, saxophone, drums and guitars that really gave her a full and developed sound. I loved the little touches on every song. The strings swelled at the right moments and the guitar work was amazing!
The star of Barker’s show was, of course, her album Seagull, which is out right now. The stripped down songwriting translated so well live. I feel like Barker has grown into herself and her talent, and the only way for her now is up and out. My favorite song of the night was “Maybe I,” a song that speaks to Barker’s flaws in a tender and accepting way. Check out the video right here:
If Barker tours again soon, it’s definitely worth your time to see her with her band. It was the kind of show that reminded me why I love music so much- honest, pure and completely satisfying. I am definitely keeping my eye (and ear) on what Barker has to offer in the future.
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