In this recurring feature known as The Bay Abridged, our staff writers will provide short, witty recaps on shows they attended around the Bay Area. A scene check, a heat check, and sometimes more — stop by every Wednesday for the most comprehensive and concise recap of last week’s Bay Area concert scene.
Anchors Up at The Octopus Literary Salon (Oak) Jan. 16
Jake Hansen is about to put Antioch, CA on the map. He has quite a collection of songs, but sadly you have not heard them yet. His set was a perfect example of what guitar and voice can do, meanwhile you can almost hear the Painted Garden possibilities. Check out “Where Did You Run To?” on Bandcamp and dream of a Greg Ashley collaboration in 2016. —MBL
Vanessa Carlton at The Independent (SF) Jan. 19
Carlton, who has moved from New York to Nashville, recently had a daughter with husband John McCauley of Deer Tick and released her fifth album, Liberman, in October. Tuesday’s show at The Independent served as an introduction to the new material to the near-sellout crowd. Liberman, named for Carlton’s maternal grandfather’s last name, differs from Carlton’s sparsely arranged songbook. It’s covered in reverb and layered orchestration, which in the live show was recreated with multiple loops by violinist Skye Steele. Her 13-song set was split up with a beginning and end of older material (“White Houses, “A Thousand Miles,” etc.), while the middle of the sandwich (Carlton’s metaphor) was comprised of the majority of the new album. Each of the new songs received the backstory treatment, which added to the intimacy of the evening. Live standouts included “Operator” and “House of Seven Swords.” —Roman Gokhman