Contributed by Photographer and Writer Jenny Kaufman
Air waves to the heat waves, SiriusXM’s The Coffee House Live Summer 2017 tour made a stop in Phoenix Arizona at the Crescent Ballroom; The tour featured Joshua Radin with special guests Rachael Yamagata & Brandon Jenner. The bleacher seating was full and people had arranged themselves at the edge of the stage. Packed in and awaiting the show, small talk ensued; some people were there for one artist or another and all the while in anticipation of a self-imposed heart wrenching emotional evening.
Brandon Jenner, Barefoot and an acoustic guitar, started his set with a self-introduction of hello and a thank you. Quickly capturing the hearts of many in the room as he mentioned having a baby at home, to which “awww” could be heard all the way around. I was pleasantly surprised and entertained by his voice; warm, soft, genuine and soulful. The audience enjoyed and encouraged him to continue after an interruption by an overzealous young lady leaving her screech on the looping machine. Funny enough she was booed by the audience and Brandon Jenner continued with a smile rounding out his set. His music will nestle into your heart like an old friend. 2016 Jenner released ‘Burning Ground’ a very down to earth family oriented video. Much like his video, he is a down to earth guy; hope to see more of Mr. Jenner in future concerts.
Rachael Yamagata is an Indie, Alternative singer, songwriter and musician; she was accompanied by musician Michael Chavez. The pair began the set and as I glanced around to see people’s faces you would have thought they just ate something amazingly delicious. Michael Chavez on drums helped serve up the platter as Rachael Yamagata strummed the guitar for a few songs then moved on to the keys of the piano. Between songs she spoke of not being in a relationship and for sure not dating anyone from the tour.
Relationships seem to be a storefront theme for her music for which the audience bought. Off to the side of me I over hear someone comparing her raspy voice to that of Janis Joplin and another person added Melissa Etheridge. Ms. Yamagata does have a raspy, soulful and sexy voice that adds that secret ingredient to her lyrics. Her work spans back to 1999 with the band Bumpus. She has a long list of notable works from singles (Worn Me Down), EPs, contributions (Jason Mraz, Mandy Moore, Katharine McPhee) studio albums (2016 Tightrope Walker) as well as film and television shows (2014 The Appearing, 2010 Dear John, 2007 & 2008 The L Word). No matter if her songs were of love, love lost, heart break or a middle finger the emotions and message of empowerment resonated from her delivery. Check Please!
Joshua Radin, songwriter, singer and an acoustic pied piper of the heart strings. Joshua Radin stepped onto the stage, played a few songs and then invited Brandon Jenner and Rachael Yamagata to join him. The room dimly lit creating a “just for me” moment as they sang, there weren’t any special effects or backgrounds, just the music. Radin took his time and engaged the audience for energy and support to which they accommodated. He continued to sing and play all the while; couples doing what couples do in public places. Radin has had multiple albums spanning back to 2006- We Were Here and in 2017-The Fall. Radins body of work has extended from television (Scrubs), movies (Dear John, The Last Kiss), albums, EPs, singles and compilations. Joshua Radin is the reason we love…movies about love! A story is just a story, now add his voice and lyrics and it's now a dream sequence.
Add a pint of ice cream a comfy t-shirt and the night was complete!
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