Sunday, November 25, 2012
At the Hard Rock Café in the heart of downtown Seattle, a showcase of indie talent took the stage on Sunday, November 25. These talents were the young (and both very blonde) Joachim Nordensson and Andie Case.
Better Off - Joachim Nordensson
The upstairs of the Hard Rock Cafe provided very minimal lighting, and fostered a casual sit-down- ambience in the popular concert room named "The Cave.". The music didn’t over power the venue as it does many times with sold-out crowds dancing to the best Rock bands in the Northwest, which I appreciated. This was a great change of pace for me, and tells me that the Hard Rock Cafe is always supportive of all genres and ages in the Seattle music community.
Joachim Nordensson is a balladeer with a mellow folk-rock, but at times can bring-it-on. Joachim was accompanied by a single bassist, and he himself was plugged in with an acoustic-electric guitar. Joachim has smooth vocals; his voice is very Jason Mraz-esque. The uniqueness for Joachim can be found in his amazing guitar ability that was taught to Joachim from an early age. His mother and father are from Sweden with a generational family history full of accomplished musicians. The soulful yet gentle guitar player started his set with a mellow tune—and the rest of the set followed suit. But, soon into his set, Joachim played a “50 Ways to Leave a Lover” cover, a country style guitar breakaway from the normal pieces, with his signature smooth vocal line throughout. Here is where Joachim really showcased his skill. His guitar playing ability matches and surpasses that of his vocal versatility, a rare feature of “indie” Seattle musicians. He played with a bluesy, back-country feeling which kept the music fresh and interesting. Midway through his performance, Joachim played a favorite of his, “Country Waterslide.” Born in Montana, Joachim said his inspiration for this song came from the childhood activity of sliding down the mountain with cardboard toboggans. Again, his abilities were showcased in this tune as a soulful player and even-tempered vocalist. For me, this piece painted a sound picture of a peaceful mountainside, especially in the introduction. Joachim clearly was not afraid to show the audience where he came from. Of course, being the talented, good-looking musician he is, Joachim also integrated a cover of Jack Johnson’s “Might Just Let it Go” which was well matched with his vocal style perfectly. He defies the "young" indie stereotype of a low-level playing skill and talent.
Andie Case is a talented 18 yr-old singer/songwriter and only eight months ago released her EP. Andie Case was dressed like a casual California hipster as she made her way onstage at the Hard Rock Cafe with a humble, sweet and non-demanding presence. Andie started her set with saying “Joe set this really good mood with his acoustics, so if you don’t mind, we’re gonna keep it going.” K?” At this comment, the audience is silent not quite knowing what to expect. So, the audience laid back as they warmed-up to Andie as her bubblegum voice pierced through the venue with an interesting pop-ish country feel. From what I understand, Andie is quite skilled playing the guitar, tonight though, she let her talents show only through her singing. Now, many and more vocalists can pull off a show using just their voice, and she did for the most part, but I firmly believe this requires a great deal of stage presence for the sake of the performance, and I would have liked to have seen her use both her talents. Andie took the stage with only one talented guitar player who brought great harmonies to her songs, and also provided excellent back-up vocals which gave Andie that needed "not-a-cookie-cutter" sound. While her voice is technically good, and reminds me very much so of Miley Cyrus or Taylor Swift, Andie could use a little more energy to her performance and showing her talents on the guitar as well as singing, she will then definately separate herself from the generic poppy vocalist and create her own style.
It was a delightful night at the Hard Rock Cafe at this "all-ages" event for Joachim Nordensson and Andie Case. Both Joachim and Andie have great talent and promise. Their young fans will certainly be following them in their long careers.
Better Off - Joachim Nordensson
You're Perfect (Don't let the world tear you down) Lyrics - Andie Case