Amanda Marshall with Five For Fighting at the Phoenix, March 7. Tickets: $40. Attendance: sold out. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
oh, my god! amanda marshall has a really flat stomach! She must be working out a lot! Oh, my god! And, boy, does she have a lot of energy! And hand gestures! And hair!
Oh, my god! Oh, my god!
Thursday evening at the Phoenix began on a comparatively low-key note with openers Five for Fighting playing a set of your basic alt pop rock that featured their hit song Superman and a cover of Let It Be. Not earth-shattering, but nice.
After that, Marshall took the stage in full force. She is a stupendous show-woman, as she proved to a sold-out crowd of adoring fans. And this was after singing to a sold-out crowd at Massey Hall the night before.
She's upped the ante, funkifying her sound and spicing up her lyrics, which offer a welcome change from all that somewhere-there's-a-river-looking-for-a-stream business.
She's a little less beige these days, though she did perform a bunch of those boring old tunes as well as the stuff from her third album, Everybody's Got A Story. The latter included, of course, Sunday Morning After (oh, my god!), which she saved for an encore. And, yes, she has some powerful pipes on her.
All that said, Marshall is another female singer like Britney, Madonna, Cher, Celine, Mariah (and she deserves as much recognition as any of those people) who's joined onstage by a massive posse of musicians and backup singers who don't even get their names on the bill.
I can do without all the pomp and circumstance, and look forward to the day when I can see her perform with just a piano or something simple. Then we'll see what she can do.
Until then, there's always that stomach. Oh, my god! Is it ever flat!