My Brightest Diamond Shone Brightly at World Cafe

Words By: Carolyn Lederach, Photos By: Lindsey Borgman

I came into World Cafe uncertain with what to expect from my first My Brightest Diamond show.  There was a decent all ages crowd spread throughout the downstairs stage, happily awaiting Shara to hit the stage.

I’ve had ‘Pressure’ stuck in my head for a few days, so I was pleased that MBD kicked off the show with the song.  ‘Pressure’ is one of the singles off My Brightest Diamond’s newest release This Is My Hand, which was released on the 16th of September on Asthmatic Kitty Records.  The night continued with some other tunes off the three other albums Shara has released over the length of her career.

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Shara gave a really impressive performance.  As I mentioned before, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this show, but I was pleasantly surprised and entertained with the talent in the room that night.  You can tell Shara’s been working on the interactive live aspects to her shows for awhile, because she knew the best parts of her songs to get everyone involved and feed off the crowd.  This was seen in having the crowd carefully clapping to ‘Lover / Killer,’ and having the entire venue joining in a sing-along to one of her older tunes ‘We Added It Up.’

The entertainment aspect continued as Shara also brought along some props with her.  For ‘High, Low, Middle’ she brought out a construction hat and moustache, which she proceeded to wear for the length of the song.  She informed us the song was about Detroit.  Incase you’re unfamiliar with the song, the opening verse goes like this:

“When you’re privileged, you don’t even know you’re privileged.  When you’re not, you know.  When you’re happy, you don’t even know you’re happy.  When you’re not, you know.”

So you can get an idea of how the message for the rest of the song goes.

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Some of the bigger highlights in the show in my book were My Brightest Diamond’s covers.  Shara really took them into her own hands and knew how to own them.  The crowd was treated to her rendition of Little Willie John’s classic, ‘Fever.’  Shara stepped away from her keyboard and guitar to grace the center of the stage in a tophat (after showering the crowd with glitter) and a dance.  She then hopped down off the stage to join the crowd and serenade a few select people fitting the lyrics.

The crowd was fully taken in by My Brightest Diamond’s performance.  So much so that they all crowded onto the main floor asking for an encore, and they got one.  Shara returned to the stage alone with a guitar to perform Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good.’  Thus wrapping up a great, roundabout set that lasted a full hour and a half.