REVIEW: Kate Voegele

Wednesday night’s cold weather gave Kate Voegele fans the perfect opportunity to gather in the intimate space of the Blind Pig for the singer’s latest tour stop, which she made in promotion of her new EP, The Wild Card.  The latest in a collection that includes two other extended plays and three studio albums, the release provided some long-awaited new material to a fan following that dates back to her time on the hit show One Tree Hill from 2008 to 2011.

The show started off strong with her charismatic opening act, Briar Rabbit, a singer-songwriter and Michigan native who made his start in Bloomfield Hills.  His acoustic set consisted of lyrically dense pieces about love, loss, and self-confidence, relatable themes that struck a chord with many in the audience who were being introduced to him for the first time.  On full display along with his lyrical talent was his charm, as he filled the gaps between songs with stories, jokes, and appeals to the audience to show their support.  The best example of this was two songs into his set, when he pulled out a clipboard and jokingly said he had forgotten to give his email list to the person working merch in the back.  He asked the people in the front to pass it back towards the back of the room, and if anyone wanted to put their name on the email list while they were at it, well that would be just fine.  Humorous moments like this were small gems set between emotionally compelling songs that set the tone for Voegele, who came on to an already excited crowd.

Kate Voegele entered the stage and started off with a song from her new EP, her smooth voice and acoustic pop sound setting the pace for the entire show.  Giving fans who know her well from One Tree Hill a taste of the past, she mixed older songs into her set, including hit singles that she performed while on the show.  These were the pieces that set the crowd wild, as many fans in the audience were twenty-somethings who grew up with her music and character.  One of the most popular of this group is Only Fooling Myself, a song Voegele won a song-writing award for in 2005, prior to performing it as Mia Catalano upon joining the OTL cast. Among her new songs, one of my favorites was Ooh La La, an upbeat love song that seemed to set the crowd into dance mode.  Another favorite off of her new release was a cover of the recent hit Cups from Pitch Perfect, which Voegele slowed down and put a ballad spin on.

The overall successful performance of Voegele at the end of the night saw one small hiccup that fortunately doesn’t eclipse her performance.  As the concert began winding down and she got ready to leave the stage, the crowd cheered for an encore, and she was more than happy to oblige.  There was just one problem – the song that she had prepared as an encore was not the song that the audience begged for.  Back in 2008, she released a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, an acoustic performance that quickly rose to fan-favorite status. Several fans screamed for her to perform it as the crowd cheered for an encore, but though she took the encore in a different direction, her final song seemed to do the job and cap off a fun night.

Natalie Minor

I am a sophomore in LSA majoring in Psychology and Economics.