farrah and I went to see Imogen Heap at the Warfield this past Sunday, December 3rd. We hadn't been to a concert in quite sometime. I think the last concert we saw was Esthero at the Filmore back in July.
We got a late start to the Warfield, not really having a desire to see the only listed opening act who, Kid Beyond. I had never heard of him, but then again I have never heard of some of the opening acts I had seen at the Warfield before. I never heard of Cheryl Crow when she opened for Crowded House. I never heard of Jewel when she opened for Liz Phair. And I never heard of Tricky when he opened for PJ Harvey. I'm not saying Kid Beyond is in the same league as these opening acts, but he was very entertaining.
We caught the tail end of Levi Weaver's performance. He had the crowd going on and made me interested in hearing how his studio work would be.
Imogen Heap came briefly on stage to introduce Kid Beyond. The dude beat boxes and so much more. He did a little Nine Inch Nails, some Portishead, and some of his own stuff. You can catch some clips, such as this, on YouTube. All the performers used a machine that Imogen Heap called a parrot. I'm not sure if that is the correct reference, but basically the performer records a vocal or sound that they layer upon until they have the affect they are trying to achieve. Anyway, it was a very good performance.
Imogen then came out twenty minutes later. She started by walking through the general admission crowd on the floor. farrah and I were located in very good seats, first row lodge, so we could see her milling about there in the dark, singing the vocals to her first song. I had never seen Imogen Heap perform, or never seen a video by her, so I was quite surprised to by her stage presence and performance.
She put on a strong performance considering she had a nasty cold she caught from Levi Weaver. From her stage look and keyboard talent, all I could think of was that she may be the lost love child of Cyndi Lauper and Thomas Dolby. You can see photos of her on Flickr here. I didn't realize she is the girl in the red coat you see on Flickr's home page from time to time.
She danced around stage with reckless abandon and played her keyboards and other instruments with (mostly) perfect precision. Her parrot failed her on one of her songs, but her cold never slowed her down. She talks and responds to the crowd in her cute voice. Very cool interaction.
Hopefully she'll come around again in a couple of years after working on her next album.