This year the Peoples Bank Theatre reopened its doors after an impressive and extensive renovation, and has since had a pretty great lineup of shows for fans of music, comedy, film, dance and a variety of other events and performances. I’ve had the pleasure of attending several of the shows and events at the Peoples Bank Theatre this year, and I have to say, Tuesday night’s performance by Brandi Carlile (and opener Ruby Amanfu) was one of my favorite shows, so far. To be honest, the show was so fantastic, with an honesty through lyrics and storytelling, and musical talent that was so powerful and seemingly effortless, it may stay in my top 5 shows of all time.
Ruby Amanfu, opening act from Tennessee, performed original and cover songs with her haunting voice, paired with guitar. Her performances of Bob Dylan’s “Not Dark Yet”, original song “Cathedrals” and duet of “Shadow on the Wall” (a Brandi Carlile song) with Mz. Carlile were some of my favorites of hers, from the night.
During Brandi’s headlining performance (which was so great, she repeatedly received standing ovations after almost every song), she pulled her band out to the front of the stage, in front of the microphones and monitors and, for the first time on this tour, did an acoustic performance for the crowd. Stunning. She mentioned more than once that night how wonderful our theatre was, and if we didn’t realize it, it was quite a little gem we had-for its beauty and its acoustics, and more. Throughout the evening, Brandi Carlile kept everyone entranced by her performance. At one point, during her song “Keep Your Heart Young”, she even pulled a young girl up onto stage after seeing her sing along. Deeply touching love song “I Belong to You” and “The Mother” left few dry eyes in the room, and of course her hit “The Story”, which builds to a rocking end (as did the evening) had everyone enthusiastically bobbing their heads along to the beat.
In a nutshell, it might be easy to think a small town like Marietta, Ohio isn’t capable of providing top notch entertainment-wether it be acoustics, lighting, or even the budget to just draw some of your favorite national (or international) acts. Please know this is wrong, on every level.
If you haven’t had a chance to hear either artist perform, check out their duet. You can also find more on Brandi Carlile on her facebook page and website. For more on Ruby, here is her facebook page and website.