Brett Dennen at the Borderline
Hiding behind a fringe and a pair of heavy glasses, Brett Dennen enters the stage with his elephant-adorned guitar. He opens the show by playing the Borderline a selection of songs from his first album dating back to 2004. Dennen charms the audience with witty lines in between the songs and with his singer-songwriter folk.
After a couple of songs, Dennen gives an inspiring talk about a friend he recently lost. He speaks of their Californian campfire talks and how he pushed him to pursue his musical career. Several of the songs Dennen plays are connected to his friend in one way or another and this story gives the songs a new dimension, creating intimacy and honesty with the audience.
When Dennen’s folk cascade beginnings to come to an end the crowd is considerably smaller than when we started off. Where a while ago people were squeezing, there is now a bit more space for everyone remaining than we really need: the reason being the length of the set – Dennen plays for a whole hour and 50 minutes. When his friend Jamie McLean joins him onstage you might think that we had reached the climax of the show, but no! It is only mid-set.
This, combined with some hiccups such as missed notes on the guitar and sloppy voice control at times, makes the performance tedious. You can only keep the interest of an audience for so long with slow folk pop. When McLean joins the show it picks up in pace as well as in quality, but the overall impression would have been much better with scrapping many songs from the setlist.
Finishing off the evening with tequila shots onstage and reminders about the curfew, Dennen and McLean sing the hit Ain’t No Reason, and the remaining audience leave seemingly content with the show.
Photos: Andrei Grosu
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Watch the video for Ain’t No Reason here: