Tuesday, June 20, 2017

NYC Day 3: Sleep Deprived, and An Evening With Paula Cole

Paula Cole and fellow musicians take a bow at City Winery

I had good intentions for my third day in New York, but only one of those come to fruition. Due to the ongoing effects of jet lag, I only got four and a half hours sleep the previous night, and I was in no shape to hit the streets of the city. By midday I was back in bed, and thankfully caught up on much of the sleep I missed out on during the night. I was up and about again by five in the afternoon, and felt more than ready to attend my first major gig of the visit--Paula Cole at City Winery.

I have dubbed this visit, my New York City Art & Music Tour, due to the numerous gigs I have pre-booked, and also due to the memberships I have taken out with the Museum of Modern Art, and the Metropolitan Museum. You can expect therefore plenty of art and gig reviews in subsequent posts. But on to Paula Cole.

Paula Cole was performing a selection of music by John Lennon and Joni Mitchell, which I take is a departure from doing her own material. Cole first came to my attention when I saw her performing as the back up singer for Peter Gabriel during his ‘Secret World’ concert tour. I should point out that I did not actually attend any of those shows, I had seen a clip on an Australian late night music show called Rage, which was taken from the DVD of the tour.

Last night's show was a delight from beginning to end. Paula performed with a three piece ensemble before a very appreciative audience. Unfortunately I didn't quite get all the names of the musicians, but Max Weinstein was on drums. The young guitarist's name sounded like Milay Sohar, but my spelling of his name is more of a guess than anything, and I completely missed the bass players name. Sorry about that gentlemen. Towards the end of the show she introduced Janie Barnett, a fellow singer who added extra backing vocals to Joni Mitchell's Free Man In Paris, and Big Yellow Taxi, as well as to John Lennon's Instant Karma.

Paula Cole was in great form, and she sang Joni Mitchell songs with the voice of the 40-year-old Joni. These songs were pitch perfect, and if you closed your eyes you may well have thought that Joni Mitchell herself was on stage. Her interpretations of John Lennon's best loved songs was also great to hear. I thought her selection of Lennon's very personal song, Mother was a very brave choice by Paula, and while I'm not sure she pulled it off as well as she would have liked, it certainly kept me riveted to my seat to see how she would approach it.

The night started off slowly and quietly with Joni Mitchell's Blue and Night Ride Home, and continued in a muted tone with Lennon's Love, Julia, and another Joni Mitchell song Little Green, about the daughter she gave up for adoption very early in her career. The show really hit its straps when Paula and the band ripped into Lennon's, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, and Come Together.

Here's the full set list:
Blue (Mitchell)
A Case Of You (Mitchell)
Love (Lennon)
Julia (Lennon)
Little Green (Mitchell)
Mother (Lennon)
Beautiful Boy (Lennon)
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Lennon)
Come Together (Lennon)
Night Ride Home/Give Peace a Chance (Mitchell/Lennon)
Strawberry Fields (Lennon)
Free Man In Paris (Mitchell)
Big Yellow Taxi (Mitchell)
Instant Karma (Lennon)

Across The Universe (Lennon)
Both Sides Now (Mitchell)
Imagine (Lennon)

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