Nicole Atkins, Arc Iris, Stephen Warwick
March 25, 2014
Leaning heavily on her February-released album, Slow Phaser, Atkins' set also included a few fan favorites as she danced, sang and sweated the night away. Wearing a long black cloak, Atkins took the stage without a word and immediately launched into "Vultures," the lead track from 2011's Mondo Amore.
The former Charlotte resident acknowledged plenty of friends and even some family in the audience with smiles as she cruised through song after song in stellar form. From the upbeat disco-inflected "Girl You Look Amazing" to the old-school style of the ballad, "The Way It Is," Atkins showed her vocal range and power, climaxing with the encore as she made her way into the crowd to sing amongst her fans.
It was a winning conclusion to a musical trifecta that started out with a 30-minute solo set by Ancient Cities singer/guitarist Stephen Warwick and jaw-dropping set by Arc Iris as the "meat" in a musical sandwich.
As the first notes warbled and hummed through the crowd, I feared that some art-house clusterfuck of noise was about to overtake our ears and leave us running for the streets. I'm glad I stuck around.
The band provided sonic backdrops that teetered between cabaret, orchestral soundscapes, Laurel Canyon harmonies and frantic, frenzied swirls of emotion showing the strength of the group's songwriting and musicianship in its entirety. It's a far cry from the music Adams was a part of as a member of the indie-folk band The Low Anthem, but a sound that clearly suits her talents well.