Orenda Fink @Witloof Bar (Botanique) Brussels – 21 January 2015
On tour to support her new solo album, Orenda Fink performed also in Witloof Bar Botanique, a place already known for being ideal for new discoveries. Although she was a novelty for many of us there, she’s no stranger to the music scene, Blue Dream (released on Saddle Creek Records in August 2014) is her third solo album and she has been busy with many other projects since the ‘90s.
A simple, delicate, polite ‘Good evening. It’s nice to see you.’ made everyone already curious of what we were going to receive from the trio that just had gotten on stage.
They started with a couple songs from the new album, which gradually revealed a caressingly soft female voice, suave and melodious, with delicate highs, singing in a simple and beautiful manner about dark things as grief, lost and death. Her two support partners did a great job in creating the back-up ambiance with electro drum loops, guitar effects and, soon after, with some very special moments on musical saw. I would say that harmony was the keyword of the evening, which was floating around with each sound, despite of what it seemed to be a gloomy message. I’ve been intrigued for the entire evening by this obvious opposition and wondered how it was possible to get a serene feeling out of such meditative musical approach. It was not a sad performance, it was calm and unusual.
They continued with songs from the new album. Orenda Fink told us that was not the first time she played in the Witloof (a place she called amazing), she has been there already once many years before. Later in the setlist, she melancholically introduced ‘Safe and Sound’, a song performed in Brussels before, at that time with Azure Ray one her previous bands. ‘You Are a Mystery” is a beautiful piece that recalled a bit the dreamy music of Lynch’s Twin Peaks. About ‘The Fox’, we learned that it’s song put together with a friend of hers. A bit after the middle of the setlist, it is revealed to us that it had been a crazy day for Orenda, as 2 hours before the show she was in the hospital seeking treatment for an allergic reaction. Incredible how come after such painful experience, she could still deliver an outstanding performance. I left ‘You Can Be Loved’ at the end because it was one of my favorites, a very sensitive and insightful subject, a laid-back melody with clean guitars and electric drums throughout.
Per total, a great performance for which the audience paid its respect calling for encore. And we were spoiled with two more beautiful songs. Afterwards, they were still called back for more, but the concert had come to an end. Even though a bond was created there, definitely 50 minutes were not enough.
Coming back a bit to my wonder… looking at Orenda Fink: black leather boots, dark grey jeans, black long tailored coat, black shirt, black wide brim hat, so where does that inner light come from? Probably the answer lays into the story behind her Blue Dream album. A story I better leave it for you to discover. It also reveals what Orenda Fink and Laurie Anderson have in common, beside great talent and sensitivity. Whether the story is sad or beautiful by its outcome, it’s up to each of us to consider.
- Holy Holy
- Ace of Cups
- You Are a Mystery
- Why Is the Night Sad
- The Fox
- This Is a Part of Something Greater
- That Certain-Something Spring
- Safe and Sound
- You Can Be Loved
- All Hearts Will Beat Again
- Easter Island
- Don’t Make a Sound