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Airy Brooklyn pop
Chris Garneau @ NBI 1.12.2009
Brooklyn's Chris Garneau played to an intimate and relaxed crowd on Tuesday night at NBI. Perched atop an awkward makeshift chair, the seat of which was composed of a wooden plank from an old cupboard and various cushions, Garneau sang his ballads in an airy falsetto. Plinking notes on the Rhodes piano in front of him, everything about his presentation exuded a feeling of youth, innocence, and naïveté. The ridiculous chair, the lullaby tone of the songs, and the near quiver in his voice all added up to a light and humorous sound, nothing to be taken too seriously. A few of the songs were catchy and entertaining, exemplified by the song "Firefiles." Others, however, lacked any substance within the lyrics and melody and thus reached the borderline of grating and annoying.
The accompaniment by Anna Callner on cello was a great contribution to the music. The solid melodic foundation of the strings contrasted nicely with the tinkling notes of Garneau's piano. Some of the strongest musical moments of the evening were during these instrumental arrangements, awarding the audience with both a break from Garneau's voice as well as pleasant tunes.
Also adding strength to the set was Garneau's interactions with the audience in between songs. He was able to make fun of the predicament of his crudely assembled chair and told entertaining stories about the origins of the songs. When his microphone suddenly stopped working he handled the situation with humor and joviality by singing on his hands and knees into the microphone for Callner's cello.
Despite the moments of tedium and exaggerated falsetto, Chris Garneau still managed to charm his audience as they excitedly cheered him back onto the stage two additional times. All in all, the evening was a mixed bag that will only entertain some music lovers.
Written and Photographed by Brit-Maren Schjeide
Download Chris Garneau mp3 Albums and Titles.