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Brandi Carlile & The Nashville Symphony Orchestra, two amazing nights of music

Brandi & The NSO
Brandi & The NSOKelly E Schultz

Brandi Carlile concert


Brandi Carlile decided she was going to turn Nashville's Schermerhorn Symphony Center into equal parts Texas roadhouse and Nashville Honky-Tonk. "Tonight we open for ourselves, get ready for the 's--t kicker' set. Carlile played a make up show from April and added the second night to the delight of her fans. With just herself and "The Twins," Tim and Phil Hanseroth, they tore through a 30 minute set highlighted by a new song "The Eye," and the iconic, otherworldly "Again Today." Carlile and The Twins filled the Symphony Center with such rich Texas sounds you could have sworn you were in Gruene Hall.
It was then time for the piece de resistance. The NSO weren't the backing band for Ms Carlile as they were the Keith Richards to her Mick Jagger. The gentle string fills of "Follow," as well as a full blown coda added to "Fall Apart Again," you knew the night was going to be special. Carlile was just having a damned good time performing songs from her 4 studio albums, but three songs literally brought the house down. "The Story," where you found the NSO taking the bridge and coda and adding about 4 layers of music that any music fan could appreciate. The first encore of "Pride & Joy," was an opus of worldly proportions. Closing both nights was the Leonard Cohen classic "Hallelujah," with just Carlile and the string section.
Both nights were full of energy but you could tell on the second night that Carlile was freer. Her cover's of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," and Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain," were better than the originals.
Not many musical acts have the guts, or the budget to pull off playing with a Symphony. Brandi Carlile not only did it two nights, her music sounded richer and deeper than anything you'd hear on an album.