REVIEW: Beth Nielsen Chapman and David Wilcox

After a tough week I was looking forward to a relaxing concert. The ark does quiet-comfortable concerts perfectly. The dark small intimate atmosphere fits slow music very well. The performer’s mics weren’t working for the first 20 minutes or so, which allowed us to hear multiple songs unplugged. This was actually my favorite part of the concert. I could hear everything perfectly without the mics, because the ark is small enough to support unplugged music. I think soft singing and acoustic guitars sound better this way. There was a stillness in the air that disappeared as soon as the mics started working.

David and Beth’s music styles were a lot more similar than I was expecting or hoping for, but the content of their songs, the lyrics, metaphors, themes, and meaning, were drastically different. David was like a philosopher. His songs all had deep, often transformative meanings. He sang songs about the political state of our country and related it to a winter storm. He sang a song about emptying our minds, which made me think of the Buddhism class I am taking. He even quoted Abraham Lincoln in one of his songs. My favorite song of his was a song about how we are only responsible for the things in this world we can change, and that we shouldn’t feel responsible from all the bad news happening around us. He used water and the ocean as a recurring theme throughout this song.

Beth sang songs about love. All her songs seemed to relate to the happiness or sadness or mysteriousness of love. Beth has had a very impactful and emotional love life. She has lost two loved ones to brain cancer. It was remarkable how easily she was able to speak about her past love history. My favorite quote of Beths was when she said that Grief is like a boulder in our path that we can’t go around, under, or over. We just have to wait for the rain to wear it down into sand. The only way through grief is time. Beth had a beautiful voice which I actually thought fit the piano more than the guitar. All my favorite songs of her’s were songs played on the piano.

David and Beth would switch off playing songs, which made me wonder why they were even performing together. They only played two songs together the whole, and these were the best songs. I don’t see the point in them performing together if all they are going to do is take turns performing songs. They should learn eachothers so they can perform them together. Even songs that they wrote together, they would split in half instead of playing it together.

Ronald McTrump

I am a senior studying business and I have lots of travelling experience in Asia. I am very pessimistic and opinionated about life, but art brings me happiness and I hope my pessimism isn't apparent in my reviews, for the sake of the artists!

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