Last night’s show with Jay Brannan and Eric Himan offered a mix of oil and water. Both armed with acoustic guitars, Himan rocked the venue while Brannan soothed the almost sold-out crowd. With such a spectrum, the ovations for both were loud and blatantly appreciative.
Brannan croons like no other and he confessed onstage to being sick and vomiting the whole day prior to the show. He showed no signs of that as he sang with crystal clarity. His voice was pristine and you almost think you’re listening to a CD. He performed a healthy set also, for being so sick. “Housewife” may be his most popular song and it was well-received, but I’d have to say “Beautifully” and “Charleston,” his cover of a friend’s song, were fantastic highlights. He captured the exquisiteness of each melody nicely in both. Although his work is on the mellower side, at times the set needed a slight jolt and the ballads began to run into each other. Brannan was never tepid, but came oh-so close.
On a side note, he talked about how he loved returning to Texas as he can find really good Mexican food here. But when he cited Pappasito’s as his taco destination, we nearly choked on the ice in our drinks.
Himan, on the other hand, killed his set. With a playlist of about six songs, he took us up and down with the stirring “Protest Song” to a decent cover of Journey’s “Faithfully.” He’s a lot grittier live than he is recorded and it was a revelation. Where Brannan’s set was like a zen meditation, Himan’s bit was bombastic.
Last night was one of those special shows where the headliner met expectations nicely and the opener left a strong and exciting impression.