Live Review: Kasey Chambers, Karise Eden

29 February 2016 | 11:24 am | Lillie Siegenthaler

"It makes me so happy when a big ol' tough guy likes you sings that song," she admires."

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A deep voice with a beautifully dark, husky edge booms through the speakers. Watching Karise Eden perform is like being in a constant state of conflict with your senses — how does such a mature, graspy voice bellow so effortlessly out of her body? She stands there at ease in a flowing boho dress, tattooed forearms conducting her vocal inflections. Occasionally Eden's hands are thrown up to the sky, as if to summon something. Is she singing to the heavens? Is she preaching to god (she totally could, with a voice like that)? She's probably drawing everyone's attention to the fact that, despite the drizzly weather a few hours prior, we are now blessed with a cloudless blue sky.

Kasey Chambers bounces out on stage with watermelon pink hair. Oddly enough, her classic tune Not Pretty Enough is played two songs in. "It makes me so happy when a big ol' tough guy likes you sings that song," she admires, pointing to a picnicker down front. "You warm my heart. And, yes! You are pretty enough." She continues the set, playing heart-warming songs with punchy strums, snare-brush swing and the mellow meandering of lap steel guitar. The set occasionally chops into more sinister ballads, like her newer song Shackle And Chain. The whole band circles around Chambers' microphone, providing eerie backing vocals. The tune is hauntingly simplistic and appreciated by the audience.

Chambers then introduces the newest members of her ensemble — a young guitarist and drummer combo she says she met in a beer garden. The pair performs as their own roots duo Grizzlee Train. A significant roar of applause following their flawless one-song performance hints that the two 20-something shredders may have just stolen the show.

The rest of the night unfolds as a deliciously peaceful evening. Chambers pulls good friend Harry Hookey up to help finish the set off. Stage lights pan the audience, illuminating a sea of heads swaying in a carefree fashion. Nobody feels obliged to get up and dance — why would you, when you can lie on a picnic rug and watch the sky melt into the deep hues of a starry night? It's a blissful moment knowing one of the few remaining summer nights can be spent like this... especially in a zoo.

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