Concert Review: My Brightest Diamond, Lincoln Hall, 2/4/11

My Brightest DiamondA show by My Brightest Diamond, the band/project/experience fronted by Shara Worden, is an experience, half performance art, half prog rock experimental showcase.  Worden is an expert at wielding her voice like a weapon, not afraid to use her full range in her songs.  As a vocalist myself, she’s someone who I would love to be, and who I would consider myself inspired by.  She has a voice that can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and she uses it to full effect.  While I didn’t know many of the songs that she played, I found myself spellbound by her performance.  The pacing of the show was effective, and Worden knew just how to liven things up, even coming out into the crowd during one number to start an impromptu dance party in the aisles.

While there hasn’t been a new My Brightest Diamond album since 2008’s A Thousand Shark’s Teeth, Worden has certainly been keeping busy, with guest appearances over the past few years on The Decemberists’ Hazards of Love, Clogs’ The Creatures in the Garden of Lady Walton, Sufjan Stevens’ The Age of Adz, and Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope song cycle, and, oh yeah, she just had a baby, too.  She’s been working on new material recently, including some songs she’s written while on this current tour.  Worden said that her only rule was that any new songs had to be able to be played on instruments that would fit into suitcases, so there were plenty of appearances by the ukulele.  The new songs, including a lullaby for her infant son and a slightly political song inspired by the concept of “disagreeing without being disagreeable” (complete with sing-along), fit seamlessly into the setlist of older material and covers, including “Tainted Love” and her powerful take on “Feeling Good”.  I’m looking forward to seeing the songs develop into a full album, hopefully in the near future.

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