Concert Review: Linda Eder @ The Marine’s Memorial Theatre, SF, 12/11

Judging by the audience members who attended Linda Eder’s concert at the Marine’s Memorial Theatre, I can probably say, I was one of the youngest people in the audience by a few decades. It was mostly forty-somethings and older couples. Now, that’s not meant to say there is anything wrong with that, I just felt I was a little bit out of my element. I had never seen Eder live before, so I was looking forward to seeing this Broadway diva in concert. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about her and I have a few friends who absolutely adore her. Overall, I felt she had some incredible vocals – some of the best I’ve ever heard – but it didn’t do very much for me because of the outdated arrangements that accompanied her.

This particular concert featured songs off her latest album, Soundtrack. (Obviously, all the songs on this CD are songs from movie soundtracks.) My favorite of the evening was “Accidentally in Love” originally sung by Counting Crows, off the soundtrack, Shrek (her son’s favorite movie). Another stand-out song of the evening was “Help” – The Beatles’ classic. It’s very rare that anyone can cover The Beatles well and Eder surpassed my expectations and blew me out of the water.  Of course, she sang a few holiday classics and a few jazz standards during the evening – “Blue Skies” was definitely my favorite. Eder’s banter with the audience was charming – telling small anecdotes, here and there, about her song choices, touring and her son, Jake.

The band – keyboards, bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar and drums – was excellent. They were tight, well-trained (probably some of the best musicians in the business), great soloists and had fantastic musicality. I just didn’t necessarily care for the arrangements; they seemed outdated and a little out of place. I came to realize how important the musical arrangements are after seeing “From Eden, With Love” – the Eden Espinosa concert at The Rrazz Room – earlier this week. Espinosa’s song arrangements were fresh, unique and kept everything very exciting. I didn’t feel like Eder’s arrangements were fresh or exciting but you might want to blame this on my age because the audience was absolutely loving it. They quickly jumped to their feet at the end of her set. While I sat there, stunned by Eder’s vocals, I just never really got into the music because of the arrangements.

Overall, Eder is one of the best vocalists that is touring the country right now. If you have the opportunity of checking her out, then do so. You need to hear this talented vocalist at least one time in your life.

***

Listen to: “Accidentally in Love” – Soundtrack

Listen to: “Help” – Soundtrack

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