So that’s what being a reporter is like. You complete one story and then on to the next one although I imagine the stories don’t usually occur within hours of each other. This Saturday I first had to watch the Franciscan men’s basketball team’s game, interview the coach, and write about it all in the space of a couple hours because I then had to make my to a concert to do research for yet another story, this one an audio slideshow that I had to narrate as well.
The concert, itself, was a lot of fun. Kevin Heider, an artist of whom I’d never heard, was the headliner supported by some Franciscan students and a local producer. He also brought in Chris Cole, a similarly styled solo artist who sang backup and had a few songs of his own.
I was pleasantly surprised by the talent on display at the show. Shannon Keating, the opening act, demonstrated some excellent vocal range in covering Seal’s “Fly Like an Eagle” and Ingrid Michaelson’s “You and I.” Her stage presence was very endearing with the almost demure façade that she put up. She even gave a bashful smile when singing that line from “You and I,” “Maybe I want to what bunnies do with you.”
She self-deprecatingly said that she doesn’t have a talent for songwriting, which is why she focuses on covering other artists. A lot of artists get by this way, at least at the beginning. They make a name for themselves by doing amazing covers of others’ songs. Birdie comes to mind with her cover of “Skinny Love” or Walk Off the Earth’s “Somebody that I Used to Know” in which the entire group used different parts of a single guitar to provide the instrumentation for the song. Both of these artists got record deals and began to make their own music, touring for avid fans who were introduced to them by those famous covers.
Next up was Courtney Christine Shingle, another student, who played original songs. This performance didn’t grab me, as well, but maybe that was just a reaction to her overenthusiastic household sisters.
The star of the show, though, was Kevin Heider who brought his folk rock sensibilities to the stage. His songs went from upbeat fun to contemplatively slow, but they were always entertaining and personal. He also didn’t overuse the harmonica nor Chris Cole’s trumpet, leaving them for just a few songs. “Salzburg Revolution” was one of the most interesting songs I heard, a ballad about three outlaws.
He also had a song called “Barcelona,” which was inspired by his adventures when, as a Franciscan student around eight years ago, had a bit of trouble getting to Barcelona from Austria. I always find it interesting to hear what inspired someone to write a song. Usually the story isn’t what you think. One of Nickel Creek’s most famous instrumentals “Ode to a Butterfly” was named such because Chris Thile, the band’s frontman, saw a butterfly on the window as he was writing the song. He says that it may have actually been a moth, so the song could have actually been called “Ode to a Moth.” It doesn’t have the same ring to it.
This will probably be my last blog post of the year as things are going to be too busy to keep this going during the Christmas season, so I will leave you with an old fashioned sign-off.
Merry Christmas and a happy new year!