Norah Jones was returning to Wolf Trap for the first time in nine years and the Filene Center was sold out. Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Sasha Dobson had a generous 40-minute set. Sasha was a great fit for an opener crossing over from jazz into indie rock which complements the headliner’s style. Dobson showcased a talented voice and performed some solid songs. However, her band was minimized to Sasha on guitar and vocals and a bass player. It would be neat to hear her with a full band or to hear this set up in a more intimate venue.
The crowd was here to see Norah Jones, a singer, songwriter, pianist, and now guitarist who has 10 Grammy Awards to her credit. Norah has a new band and a new album, Little Broken Hearts which has a new producer Danger Mouse. The new songs have a different sound, but the performance at times lacked some flash.
Norah’s set list pulled heavily from the new album. She also performed her Grammy Award-winning and number one hit “I Don’t Know Why.” She performed the song unaccompanied on the piano. I enjoyed her lovely voice and her expert piano playing on the rambling song. She closed the evening with another top 40 hit “Come Away with Me.”
There were some surprises as well. The biggest surprise for me was to hear Norah Jones covering The Grateful Dead’s “It Must Have Been the Roses.” Another surprise was Norah covering Hank Williams. Both covers sounded quite different with a female voice. She performed “Black” – a song she had done on Danger Mouse’s own project.
Norah Jones’ musical skills set the bar high for her band. Fortunately for the audience the band could keep up. Jason Roberts showed he was a skilled guitar player and master of multiple effects. The way he was able to lock onto melodies was a delight for the ears. He moved the most on stage while he played and came closest to delivering any type of flash. Keyboardist Pete Remm complemented Norah’s playing. He was also confident enough to take over the keyboard when she played guitar. Bass player Josh Lattanzi and drummer Greg Wieczorek created a formidable rhythm section. Highlights of the new material include “Happy Pills” and “Miriam.”
I felt Norah could have performed a couple of more songs after her 90 minute set which included a two-song encore. Then again, a sign of a good show is leaving the audience wanting more. She played the songs required by her fans, the songs from the album she is promoting. A few surprises resulted in an entertaining evening that left no one disappointed. A soothing night of music was the prfect way to enjoy a Wednesday night, especially when the songs come from the unmistakable, sultry voice of Norah Jones.
Norah Jones and Sasha Dobson played one night at Wolf Trap at The Filene Center – 1551 Trap Road, in Vienna, VA. on Wednesday, June 27, 2012. To view upcoming events at Wolf Trap, check out their calendar.