Wednesday I went to a concert of Alela Diane. Alela diane is a folk singer from Portland, Oregon.
She is my favourite singer and I listen to her music almost every day. I went with my bf, my brother and his girlfriend, they knew she is my favourite singer and wanted to know what all the fuzz was about.
Her songs are honest and from the heart. On her first two albums she uses little instruments: voice, guitar, banjo, and percussion, her last album is the first one in which she uses a band to which I needed some time to get used to, and though I prefer the other two I really like this album now as well. She sings about mothers, forests, herself, cliffs and more!
|Close-up of the beautiful glass panels at Roepaen.|
The concert was at a beautiful venue in the south of the Netherlands. it used to be a monastery but it’s now being used as a cultural venue. The history of the venue is clearly visible: The long hallways are still adorned with the solemn wooden benches the monks used to sit on, lit with candles. It is no coincidence that the venue, called Roepaen, chose the beautiful stained glass panels as their logo: they really capture the place’s identity.
This was not the first time I went to a concert from her, but it was however the first time I saw her doing such an intimate solo performance. It certainly didn’t dissapoint! Two songs of the Alela Diane & the Wild Divine, the album she did with a band, were adapted for this accoustic solo performance. I really liked this new adaption for ‘Elijah’.
Although the hit-record ‘Pirates Gospel‘ is left in the past, she did play a lot of songs from the first two albums. She started the performance with ‘Dry Grass & Shadows‘ from her second album, and my favorite song so-far, ‘The Rifle‘, is a classic from the very first album that was also played. Here‘s a video of Alela performing The Rifle in Amsterdam, a day before the concert I went to.
The core of the concert however came from the newly revealed songs wich will appear on a new album coming out around next spring. ‘Colorado Blue’ set the tone for all the new songs she revealed: dark, melancholic folksongs, with a strong focus on storytelling and lyrical symbolism. The same goes for ‘Lost Land’ and the rest of the new songs. The new album will be much more of a solo affair, so more like the first two albums: Pirate’s gospel and To be Still. It will be released around March next year, and I honestly can’t wait!
The whole show was lit by candles which added to the magic athmosphere Alela created with her voice and guitar play. I can honestly say it has to be the most beautiful concert I have ever been to and the whole time she was playing I felt magic and connected with the music. It was a very special evening and I was happy to be able to share it with people I care so much about.
After the show I got a chance to talk with Alela. I was a bit nervous about this, as one is about ones favourite artist, I was a bit scared she would be totally different in person then the person I had pictured in my mind. Turns out I had no need to worry, she was amazing, and exactly like she is in the songs and on stage. She was super friendly and talked a lot with everyone. I bought a rare album of her, one you can only buy as an LP & CD together, which she signed for me.
It was an amazing night, one I will remember for a long time…can’t wait for the next time she will be in the Netherlands!!