Now/It's: Caroline Rose at The High Watt

So this is a later post, sorry about that. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's get on to the good stuff.

There’s always something to be said for putting on a show - not the most Earth shattering concept, I know - but if you’re a frequent show-goer, you’ve come to understand that such a concept is not always as hackneyed as it seems. Rather than doxxing someone for an underwhelming performance, we’ll operate in the realm of generalities (that’s a great idea… not). Not every concert is a show. Conversely, not every show is a concert. But that’s beside the point.

Not every live show lives up to the vague and wildly differing perceived expectations of every single person that goes to a show. That fact sucks, but sometimes there are reasons for that - a long tour, a bad run, sickness, boredom, nihilism, etc. Other times, it’s just that the performer(s) aren’t all that well equipped to sustain a stranger’s attention in a foreign locale.

Yet, in most instances, they’re more than capable of rising to the occasion, and that makes for one of the more fulfilling aspects of the human experience - having a damn good time. Such was the case for Caroline Rose’s sold out Nashville stop at The High Watt. The best damn time at The High Watt in a while.

Touring in support of a supremely good LP (and darkhorse for album artwork of the year) - Loner - Rose had the tools (songs) for putting on a solid set, but all that remained was whether or not she knew how to use them. Realistically, I don’t think there was really any shadow of a doubt that Rose was and is a kick ass front person, but if there was any, it was gone after the first song.

Upon taking to the monochromatic, red stage, Rose exclaimed to the already endeared crowd that the show had in fact sold out. In spite of coming through all the way from California, and playing on a Tuesday night in Nashville, Rose broke through.

That undoubtedly loosened things up for Rose, because she was loosey goosey the rest of the way through. There were aspects of her person that felt like equal parts Carol Burnett and Andy Kaufman - being that Rose seems to be naturally sardonic, but surrealist in some of her form. Point and case, at one point near the end of the set, Rose spent one song spinning and cavorting about the stage, all the while wrapping herself up in her cables.

The outcome Rose’s freneticism was a hilariously overwrought break in which Rose’s band mates had no other choice than the lay down their instruments and tend to Rose’s mangled chords. All the while, the audience stood in bewildered amusement, undoubtedly incapable of discerning comedy from reality. A true Kaufman-esque move.

There was no lack of levity throughout the set, whether it was Rose whipped out a recorder to play “a new piece, avant garde shit” or prefacing every single song as her “favorite.” Ultimately, it is the purest form of a “show” that also includes a performance. There was no going through the motions with Caroline Rose, and that will no doubt remain the same for many more tour stops to come.