Saturday, February 17, 2007

Paula Cole Returns 

And we were there. For Valentine's Day The Girl purchased tickets for us to see Paula Cole at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston. This was quite a gift, because until last night The Girl thought of Paula Cole as a bit of a banshee. I say until last night, because after the show The Girl gave the ultimate sign of approval - she said she'd see her again.

The show was fabulous, and emotional. This was her first show in seven years (you can read the tale of her absence on her web site). She seemed overjoyed and more than a little surprised at the applause, cheers, whoops and standing ovations she got a number of times throughout the evening. During her first standing O in between her thank you's I heard "I needed this so much!" For her it was also a return, as she's an alum of Berklee College of Music.

When they first brought the house lights down, they also darkened the stage, and then the first chords from the piano called out quietly and the low lights came up to illuminate her at the Yamaha playing a quiet, wistful version of Where Have All the Cowboys Gone. Rather than the bittersweet but fast-paced, slightly western song you're thinking of, this was a slow, regretful, where did the time go ballad. And it was wonderful.

Then the band came out and she rocked. And told stories, and sang and sang and sang. She did a lot of her hits plus six tunes from her upcoming CD, "Courage." It's being released in June and she'll be doing a tour titled "Lessons in Life 07/08.". She stood still and we held our collective breath, she danced and we were entranced, and she rocked hard with that controlled fire that I always associate with her.

Plus a portion of the show's proceeds went to Rosie's Place, a Boston sanctuary for poor and homeless women and those escaping abuse, and also to Berklee City Music, the college's collection of year round programs for young aspiring urban musicians from 6th to 12th grade.

For her final encore, Paula returned to the Yamaha alone, with low lighting, and sang "I Am So Ordinary." But she's not.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:14 AM