If you were to compile a list of the musical giants from the last 50 years, there would be several obvious inclusions. The Beatles, Elton John, Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Queen and the list goes on.
It's not easy to build a musical legacy, and even harder to get a coveted spot at the table of lyrical legends, but Brandi Carlile is well on her way to earning her place.
One of the larger-than-life entertainer's recent moments at center stage came at Nashville's GEODIS Park on Friday night (Sept. 22). Opening up for fellow badass, pop royalty P!nk, Carlile and her tight knit musical family delivered a stunning hour-long set to a nearly full stadium who came out early just to catch a glimpse of her magic.
Kicking off with the pristine rock-leaning wailer of 'Broken Horses,' the breezy, serenading 'You and Me on the Rock' followed, with much of the audience swaying and singing along.
“This feels like a hometown show,” the Seattle native shared, and she was right. Though hailing from a state on the opposite side of the country, there was something in the air during her 9-song set that felt akin to a homecoming.
"I had never even really seen a stadium before I came on this tour... I had sort of prepared myself [to play to half full rooms], but there have been so many people in their seats this whole tour." Though she humbly gave the credit to fellow openers Grouplove and KidCutUp, she added, "Of all the shows, I've never seen this many people in their seats already. I feel like I'm playing to a packed stadium right now!"
Breaking off into 'The Story,' which has become all but synonymous with Brandi Carlile since its 2007 release, and the moving 'Right On Time,' she also enlisted her longtime collaborators and bandmates – Tim and Phil Hanseroth – to perform an acoustic, three-part harmony version of 'The Eye.'
While the song's lyrics sang "You can dance in a hurricane / But only if you're standing in the eye," the trio's masterfully-honed vocal unison left the Nashville crowd utterly speechless.
As the show rolled along, Carlile took a moment to shout out two of her four-piece orchestra, Sistastrings, who were named Instrumentalists of the Year at the 22nd Annual Americana Honors & Awards earlier in the week. The pair of sisters have been familiar fixtures in Carlile's band and have written the string arrangements for several of her songs, including 'Sinners, Saints and Fools' which the audience was then treated to.
Playing note for note with her band, Carlile closed with a one-two punch of 2017's 'The Joke' and a phenomenal cover of Queen's 'We Are the Champions.'
Though much of her acclaim seems to have come in the last few years, Carlile reminded us just how many career-making hits she has to tout across her entire discography, which in reality dates back to 2004.
While on stage, she referred to P!nk as a "once in a generation talent," but that same superlative can be given to Carlile, who has become on the of the most remarkable talents in modern music.
At the end of the day, Carlile has become a musical giant in her own right who cannot be accurately described or contained to any of style or genre.
Taken from her live performance at GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, September 22nd, 2023.
For more on Brandi Carlile, see below: