Kina Grannis LIVE@The Birchmere May 20 2014, 0 Comments
It was a balmy spring evening as we walked up to The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA on May 12th.
We were fortunate enough to snag press passes to the sold out Kina Grannis show.
Kina, with her new album, Elements, hot off the presses, is embarking on a 13-city international tour to promote her latest installment of soul-stirring acoustic ear candy. DC, or more accurately, Alexandria, was stop number three. The shows are planned as an intimate "thank you" to her fans for supporting her rise through loud coffee shops, YouTube posts, SuperBowl contests, and everywhere in between and beyond.
The opening act was a guy who goes by the pseudonym, Imaginary Future. For the purposes of this paragraph, we will refer to him as "Jesse". Jesse is a long-time collaborator of Kina's and doubles up as her back-up guitar for her sets. Incidentally, the two were also married last year, which I think is just an abundance of talent in one marriage. Jesse's soft, haunting voice, which he says people like to "sleep to or study to" calls back to past love and loss and captures the beauty of sadness and melancholy. At one point, he claimed he was gonna do something "crazy" as a departure from his regular fare and it was....not crazy at all. That's alright, though. Not everybody can be Skrillex or Lil Jon...and frankly, that's not for me all the time, either. To each his own. He's talented and did a great opening act.
As Kina walked onto the stage, she was greeted by hearty applause and cheering. Droves of admirers who have been hungrily devouring her YouTube posts, over the past year, were ready to see the songbird in real life. She regaled us with anectdotes about all her new songs, painting a picture of all the living she's done since her last album, released almost five years ago. She illustrated just how close an artist can be to their creations, baring her soul with music in a way that very few acts do in the age of EDM and Party Music. As great as the new stuff would be, the crowd would not be sated without touching on her older stuff like "Valentine" and "In Your Arms" and the lovely Kina obliged. After the show, a line snaked around the interior of The Birchmere's lobby. I overheard a security guard exclaim at how rare it was for him to see so many folks eager to meet an act, after the show, a true testament to the power of the internet.
Kina Grannis is one of many artists I treasure as a break from the hard-hitting, bass-heavy, new sounds that crowd my playlists, these days. She is a life being lived and a guitar to tell you about it. If you're not into that, right now, consider yourself put on, because it's a satisfying sound and an even more satisfying feeling.
Kina is really active on YouTube, the source of a lot of her fans, so check out her stuff:
or you can check her out on her site or twitter for tour dates!