Last night, I had the great pleasure of seeing Vienna Teng in concert.
Last week, I had no idea who she was. I was encouraged to go see her by a friend (thanks Ryan!) who told me she was swinging by a club in L.A.
I checked her out on youtube and this is what I found.
Her voice sold me. She's also young and beautiful so I went to the next step and clicked on the ticketmaster link to get some tickets.
$16 a ticket.
But it wasn't really $16. it was $16 plus $9 tacked on for processing fees.
CAN I TELL YOU HOW MUCH I HATE TICKETMASTER?
There is no way that a $16 ticket should have that much of a surcharge. The funniest thing about it is that they CHARGE you to print out your tickets at home. If you do will-call (which I did) there is no fee. How backward is that?
So for two tickets, it cost $50. It still wasn't bad considering the venue is the famed Roxy on the sunset strip and the audience was getting three acts.
I've never been to the Roxy before so it was quite a surprise to see how small and dark it was. That's a good thing though. It allows the audience to get right up close and personal with the performers. There are some tables in the back but if you're serious about the whole experience, it's best to be right up at the stage.
The first act was Paper Raincoat. Their music was very enjoyable. It seemed a little eclectic to me. Couldn't quite pin down their style and maybe that's what they wanted. They even did a great a capella number. Amber, the female part of the duo, looked like she was having a great time. Made me want to be up there slapping my chest and singing too.
The next act was Ben Sollee. When he first started on his cello, I thought WHAT IN THE HECK? I didn't think I was coming to a classical concert but then he started singing and getting down with his instrument and I was pretty amazed.
You should check out his myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/bensollee.
This guy is incredibly talented. Very peaceful, folk influenced melodies. Made me think of endless summer days spent daydreaming down by a bubbling Kentucky creek. Yeah, I know that's weird but I can't control what my brain thinks.
And finally, around 10 o' clock, Vienna arrived. Even though my feet were starting to ache by this point (I had been standing since 7:30), I forgot all about my discomfort when she started singing. She is a beautiful performer and her voice has a soaring range. My favorite songs were Gravity, Blue Caravan and a song about her grandmother (?) which seemed a little on the rockabilly side. The enthusiastic audience soaked up her talent and she stayed on the stage for an hour, which included one encore.
If you're not familiar with these artists, I'm going to pass on the tip which was passed on to me.
GO SEE THEM.
You won't be disappointed.