Something Approaching Perfection
by Miles Overn
Jann Arden’s These Are The Days Tour concert stop in Kelowna had been sold out for months in advance. Many people were still trying desperately to get tickets, but to no avail. A wait list had been created with hundreds of names on it. This was indeed a highly anticipated event, and that anticipation was on the face of every fan as they came through the Kelowna Community Theatre doors.
A great many in attendance had seen Arden live several times before. They slipped into their seats like settling into the couch at a family gathering, looking forward to catching up with an old friend. Others were seeing her in concert for the first time. They were perhaps more outwardly excited. It was a perfect mix for the performance that was about to come.
Over the course of the next 2 and a half hours, Jann Arden would pull each and every listener in. Not just commanding their attention, but drawing them in as if in an intimate embrace. The kind you only share with lovers or family or your closest friends.
Each of her expertly crafted songs was a story in and of itself. Each one introduced with the story behind the story, or that still sustains or surrounds the story to this day. This was not just an artist sharing her work, but a divine human being, wrapped in a soul, inclining her soul to take in and be taken in by every other open soul in attendance.
The first set featured 11 songs from across her career starting with “No One Knows Me” and winding through others such as “Could I Be Your Girl,” “Gasoline” and others before closing with “All The Little Things.”
A short intermission allowed for visits to the merch table, bathroom breaks, drink purchases and all the usual things, but so many conversations also sprung up about how much people were enjoying the show. Those conversations would be replaced after the second set and encore with ones about how moved those same people were by the performance itself and the unfiltered look into the heart and mind of Ms. Arden through all that she was sharing. Many spoke of being almost moved to tears. Others, perhaps more honestly, admitted to giving themselves over to all they were feeling and experiencing the release of emotions that can only occur with allowing oneself to cry.
The second set would include 9 songs, including her mega hit “Insensitive” as well as “Leave The Light On,” “Slow Burn,” “Unloved,” and the heartbreaking “Hanging By A Thread.” Each song again carefully placed into the setting from which it was born through sensitive but direct storytelling.
Arden’s band played as one; one entity breathing the same air, moving in the same rhythm, supporting and providing every nuance the delivery of this level of performance required. The concert itself seemed to take on a combination of church meets 12 step group meets family gathering except….
Except for that voice! The power of Arden’s voice is undeniable. The level of pitch perfection is almost disarming. The passion is moving, and provides her the ability to connect heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul with an entire audience seemingly without effort. And then there’s the purity.
This reviewer has to admit to being left without a single word to describe just how pure Adren’s voice is in a live music situation. It shook me. I won’t profane the experience of hearing it by trying to define it.
Shout outs must be given to her crew. The sound was pristine and the level perfect for the venue. The lighting was masterful.
Jann Arden, on this night of her These Are The Days Tour, delivered something truly approaching perfection. It was received by her fans as the gift that it was. It was received in the same manner that it was given, with grateful, open hearts.