Brandi Carlile took the stage Tuesday night and whipped the The Fillmore into a frenzy, telling fans she'd been waiting the entire tour to return to the famous venue. But Carlile didn't have to stroke San Francisco egos to win the the crowd over; the Washington-bred singer had the audience in the palm of her hand from the moment she stepped onstage.
A self-professed former backup singer for an Elvis impersonator (that story in itself was a standout moment at Tuesday's show), Carlile effortlessly blends rock, pop, folk and country influences. Add to the mix her pitch-perfect vocals, commanding stage presence and irresistible charm, and it's clear why fans were worked up as soon as the singer launched into a stripped-down version of her song, "Oh Dear."
Promoting her third album, Give Up the Ghost, Carlile shared the stage with band members Tim and Phil Hanseroth, Josh Neumann and Allison Miller. Transitioning between amped-up, electric numbers, acoustic sets, and entirely unplugged interludes (the band perfectly performed "Dying Day" without so much as a microphone), Carlile and company delivered something for everyone, translating all of the album's diversity and range to the stage.
Carlile returns to the Fillmore tonight as part of a (RED) NIGHTS concert series, which donates a portion of the proceeds help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Get your tickets at Live Nation and check out Give Up the Ghost on Amazon.