As the house lights went up, the guy seated behind me said it the best, “I could live on shows like these. No food. No nothing. Well, maybe a cup of coffee.” And I completely agree (sub chocolate chip cookies for coffee). Tears welting in my eyes and a nerdy smile on my face during the entirety of the show, both My Brightest Diamond and opener Clare & The Reasons were incredible and awe inspiring for life ahead.
A cold night outside the Cedar, it wasn’t much warmer inside. Thankfully it wasn’t a factor when listening to the lovely Clare and The Reasons, as she cooed at the crowd with French sounding melodies, drenched in perfect harmony. Clare herself has a sort of antique voice that beautifully cascades over the accompaniment of violins, cello, bass, xylophone and her own guitar. Dressed in all red, the four onstage were silly and sweet, telling jokes and winking. Their finest song, “Pluton”, was told like a floating bedtime story, with Clare’s lyrics whispering as the room darkened. With some added “big budget special effects”, little lights attached to Clare’s leg and the Reasons’ mic stands blinked like stars.
Ditching the red, the familiar faces of the “Reasons” took the stage dressed in black and white New Year’s Eve attire, this time accompanied by the wonderfully mysterious Shara Worden, a.k.a. My Brightest Diamond. “Golden Star” was her first song, which no doubt gave me goose bumps and watery eyes. With a satchel full of untold wisdoms in her voice, Worden conveys such deep emotion through not just her mouth, but her eyes and even her hands. Staring into the small audience, she twisted her hands and arms like a reed in the wind, letting the melodic strings direct her movements. It looked as though she was performing magic.
Worden rotated playing songs between the two MBD albums, strumming her guitar and spinning in circles. Songs like “To Pluto’s Moon” offered awesome combinations of raw electric guitar and delicate orchestral sounds, while others such as “The Gentlest Gentleman” showed a softer, more sensitive side, minus the crazy. Like her majestic and wild Gypsy blood, Worden’s songs seem to have some supernatural, spell casting qualities to them, winding your brain around the tinkering instruments and riveting vocals. During “Dragonfly”, I could almost see the insect flying overhead.
Before starting “From the Top of the World”, Worden explained her inspiration in creating the song, noting a fairytale about a boy and his horse. While telling it, The Reasons added in sound effects for the wind, and even calling seagulls. The show also included a magic trick from Reason, Olivier, complete with glitter. The set ended with a wonderful puppet show side stage. Shadow puppets to actual puppets, the Reasons illustrated a beautiful love story as Worden sang their tale to romantic guitar.