TVD Live: Kathleen Edwards with Hannah Georgas at 9:30 Club, 2/3

Following a short intermission Friday night at the 9:30 Club, a smiling Kathleen Edwards opened with “Empty Threat,” the first song on her new album Voyageur. With a folk-charged chorus like “I’m moving to America,” how could she not win the affections of this crowd? I hear a male voice beside me sigh “wow” as she finishes the first song, her voice sounding just as beautiful and unique as I remembered.

As I strike up conversation with said gentleman beside me about folk music, why someone brings a notepad to a show, and how he’s been a fan for years, we smile and brace ourselves for the set to come. Edwards and the band begin with one of my favorites off of the new album, the second track “Chameleon/Comedian,” following the first, as if she’ll play all of Voyageur tonight.

I look back at my new friend as Edwards strokes the first chord of “It’s Complicated,” and we mouth “I love this song” (like two school girls). “It’s Complicated” is a song in response to being taken for granted, her recent divorce lending new weight to this song.

Transitioning into “Pink Champagne” proved great timing, as its topic is irrational weddings and external pressure. Edwards claims, “This song is not necessarily about being married, then not being married. It’s about finding yourself on the streets of Calgary barfing your guts out.” I adored her candor during this show; she addresses items that the public knows about her current love life, makes a few amusing quips then heads right back into the next song. “You feel like you write all these songs and it’s all your shit. My shit is gonna be out for everyone to think about and hear.”

I would urge Kathleen Edwards to get her “shit” out there more often. Voyageur plays well straight through. It has everything: her gorgeous voice, beautiful harmonies, and clever, well-constructed indie folk rock songs.

Unfortunately for those of you reading this who were not in attendance on Friday, nothing touches her live performance, and for “mdwarren” from the TVD Ticket Giveaway, the encore was “Copied Keys”—I hope you made it there.

Opener Hannah Georgas, 2011’s Best New Artist of the Year Juno nominee, was firey with a pleasant, clear voice like the celebratory clinking of glasses. Georgas was supported by keyboardist and guitarist Andrew Braun backing her on vocals.

Georgas’ slightly shy stage presence slips away when she sings. As she clings to the mic she quickly moves from song to song, tearing through her set at a pace I respect. Letting the music speak for itself is a stance other front (wo)men should adopt. Sidestepping the microphone. Georgas thanks Kathleen Edwards, expressing that being on tour and having the chance to sing with Kathleen Edwards has been “an absolute pleasure.”

“The Deep End” off of her 2010 release This Is Good was one of the best songs she played. Hannah Georgas introduces her band mate, thanks the headliner, and gives hope to the audience of a future album release; this is one of the most succinct openers I’ve ever seen. I’d ask for more songs—no chatter, just crystal clear adorable indie-pop. I’d love to hear all the new songs she played Friday evening. Georgas is likeable, but not until she sings backup for the majority of Edwards’ set do you realize how much value her voice adds. She is even following in the footsteps of Edwards, who sang back up for Bryan Adams on tour a few years back.

Photos by Paul Frederiksen

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