Tristan Prettyman / Anya Marina @ House of Blues, Cambridge Room, Dallas, TX

When I head off to a show, I usually carry some sort of expectations for the ensuing performance.  I'm not afraid to admit that going into the Tristan Prettyman show at the Cambridge Room of the House of Blues, my expectations were not fairly high.  For no other reason than I was unfamiliar with her catalog of music, less the few songs I listened of hers on YouTube.  The songwriting was there, the musicianship was good, but I had no idea of how it would translate into a live performance.  Over the course of the next couple of hours, I found out that my expectations were drastically lower than they should have been.
 
First off, I underestimated the reach of Tristan and her music, as I entered the Cambridge Room to a nearly three-quarter full crowd; much different than my last experience at the Cambridge Room, as there were less than a dozen patrons for Howler nearly a year earlier.  So, a very pleasant surprise.  Before Tristan took the stage, the growing crowd was treated to a short but entertaining set by Anya Marina.  Under the weather, she joked that she was indulging in 'black tar heroine' in her coffee cup and later, that her performance was being brought to you by Sudafed.  But her set told a different story, as her music never suffered.  She was a delight.  Constantly interacting with the crowd and expressing mountains of wit.  Her rendition of "Bus Rider", was blatantly funny and got a great reaction from the crowd.

After Marina's performance, it took little time for the crew to ready the stage for Prettyman and her band.  Entering the stage under low, red lighting, Prettyman slowly entered into her song, "Say Anything", where she was joined by Steve Miller and Josh Dunaho. Her set, not as lighthearted as Marina's, was full of first-person narratives regarding the highs and lows of love.  It's no secret that Prettyman was wearing her heart on her sleeve as she performed certain cuts from Cedar and Gold.  At times, she would go into length about the background of each song, leaving no room for interpretation.  But the songs have real meaning and are all substance, what real singer/songwriters aim to reach.  But with all that backdrop, you could tell Prettyman does it all for her fans.  From smiles to friendly banter, she expresses herself in away that is truly accessible and utterly humble.  So it was no surprise to those who know her background, her music, her personality, that this show was packed to the edges and full of sincerity.  Even standing alone with only her guitar, she draws everybody's attention with her wonderful voice and real life dialogue.  She is a great songwriter and a great performer, but to top it off, she's a great person.  Pictures of the show are below:


Anya Marina

 Tristan Prettyman
enjoy.
Tristan Prettyman / Anya Marina @ House of Blues, Cambridge Room, Dallas, TX Tristan Prettyman / Anya Marina @ House of Blues, Cambridge Room, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 2:30:00 PM Rating: 5

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