It’s been a while since Kate Voegele last made the trip to San Francisco. A point she was quick to acknowledge during her show at Slim’s. After a couple of songs, and once those by the bar had meandered to fill the room you’d have never have known she’d been away so long.
Kate Voegele hit the ground running, guitar strapped to her tightly, kicking off the set with some lively Americana styled pop music. Chicago, Just Watch Me and Carousel early provided a colourful start.
Throughout a lot of Kate Voegele’s music is a sense of re-invention and endeavour. It’s Only Life and Sandcastles, the latter written about how music helped her through the “crazy shit” in her life were both poignantly performed examples of this.
It’s been three years since she last put out music, a point she highlighted a few times during the evening. You started to get a real sense of an underlying frustration in this, as if the powers that be had been holding her back. Indeed, she displayed an endearing irreverence at times. There were moments when a fierce, sassy, f*ck the status-quo attitude would suddenly appear for a few seconds before it disappeared back in to her relaxed demeanour as she moved on to play her next song.
She was often quick to banter with the crowd. Shouting out the girls jamming on the dancefloor with a bottle of wine or when answering the question everyone wanted to ask; why on earth was she hanging out with Kevin Federline for a week. Turns out it No Good was performed for an episode of One Tree Hill in which she was “p*ssed” at him (in the storyline anyway)! Mix these interactions with the aforementioned fire and she becomes someone who’s easy to root for.
The best moments came when she set her guitar aside and stripped it back to be accompanied by the piano. On When I’m Gone she was able to stir the emotions alongside the mini-chorus line that popped up in small pockets of the audience.
A duet, with the incredibly spunky Leroy Sanchez on Caught Up In You added a carefree surprise on a charming duet from her latest EP.
She closed out with Forever and Almost Always (after opting to not do the encore thing). It’s one she confessed to not performing very often. Many were glad she did tonight as it was one of the more emotive and touching songs of the evening, you could visibly see lovers drawing closer the longer she sung.
Kate Voegele’s set was everything you’d expect from someone who has not been in town for a while. Full of songs which spanned the entire breadth of her catalgoue it was engaging and diverse. Let’s hope her inner-fire can turn the latest EP in to an album and bring her back to San Francisco in the near future… either that or she can just tour with Leroy Sanchez when he becomes bigger than Beiber!