Vanessa Carlton Steams Through Ravinia

Vanessa Carlton

I’m sure Chicagoans were unsure about the nights show when those morning storms came rolling in. But luckily it cleared up and ended up being a beautiful but steamy evening. Vanessa is out promoting her new album that comes out next week, Rabbits on The Run. Vanessa opened up the night with “Who’s to say” and “Harmonium”. Vanessa introduced the band and told us how she had been suffering from writers block for a few years until her guitarist Ari helped her breakthrough it. They were working at Vanessa’s home when nothing was coming to them so they decided to go to a pub that was nearby and came up with the song “I Don’t Wanna Be a Bride”. Vanessa’s voice sounded lovely throughout the park, but watching her was a bit disappointing to me. The whole set was pretty mild but it was at “A Thousand Miles” when I was ready for Vanessa to rage a lil bit. Maybe swiftly stand up kicking her piano bench across the stage. Could I get a little dance or groove while she played? Sadly I got nothing. The nights version was much slower compared to her radio release. Other than the few stories she told in between songs she was very “professional” looking while she played. Usually looking forward, not really looking out into the crowd.

Some of the stories she told got me a little lost in translation. Trying to give herself props and comparing a song she wrote when she was 16 , “A Thousand Miles”, to today’s “Get Good” which is dedicated to a friend who was going through a divorce, I didn’t really understand what she was trying to share with us. Or mentioning how she got inspiration for “The Marching Line” by taking her dog for walks at the Hudson River, saying her favorite time to go is when it’s raining and how she likes to wear her boots while it’s raining. I just wasn’t sure where she was going with some of these back stories.

Vanessa recorded Rabbits on the Run at the Real World Studios. She chose the title for the symbolism often depicted by rabbits of ‘time slipping, mind floating’ – which explains the writers block. The album was inspired by Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. Vanessa mentioned during the show that “her heart is in the 70’s” so being able to record this album directly to tape was a great accomplishment for her. Rabbits on the Run will hit stores on July 26th.

Set List:
Who’s to Say

Harmonium

Don’t Wanna Be a Bride

Tall Tales

Fair-weather Friend

Dear California

Fools Like Me

A Thousand Miles

Get Good

Hear The Bells

White Houses

London

The Marching Line

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