Nicole Atkins wrapped up her Slow Phaser tour this past Thursday at Johnny Brenda’s.  Her newest album was released on February 4th and is 11 songs worth of catchiness, ranging from the highly danceable “Girl You Look Amazing” to the soulful and dramatic “The Worst Hangover.”

Nicole Atkins

Nicole Atkins | Photo: Adrianna Hilborn

The band, including opener Davey Horne on guitar and keyboardist Zach Miller from Arc Iris, came to the stage first and started with the moody intro of “Vultures.” When Ms. Atkins came to the stage, she looked appropriately mysterious, wearing a long black cape. Throughout the set, I was impressed over and again by Nicole Atkins’ vocal range and just how much this woman rocks! By song #3, “What Do You Know?” she had kicked off her high heeled boots and settled into a groove. Ten out of thirteen songs were from the new album, Slow Phaser, the set sprinkled with a few earlier songs from her Neptune City & Mondo Amore albums. This summer, Nicole Atkins opens for Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, including a stop at the Mann Center on July 25th.

Arc Iris_3.27.14

Arc Iris | Photo: Adriann Hilborn

Starting off the evening, Davey Horne from Scotland warmed up the crowd with his solid, folk tunes, armed with an acoustic guitar and harmonica. The crowd filled in a bit more for Arc Iris from Providence, Rhode Island. Their eclectic mix of progressive rock, jazz and funk took the crowd on a ride through many musical styles. All of Arc Iris’s members displayed fantastic musicianship on their respective instruments; organ, horns, upright bass, cello, drums. Lead singer, Jocie Adams’ voice is very interesting; it was quiet and childlike at times, other times powerful. Adams was also a multi- instrumentalist – switching between the keyboard, clarinet, and guitar. Arc Iris’ set kept an ever-changing tempo; always mixing it up to keep things interesting.

Davey Horne

Davey Horne | Photo: Adrianna Hilborn

Nicole Atkins Setlist

1. Vultures 2: Who Killed the Moonlight? 3. What Do You Know? 4: Gasoline Bride 5: Cool People 6. Girl You Look Amazing 7. We Wait Too Long 8. The Way It Is 9. Red ropes – Co-written with Jim Sclavunos of Nick cave and The Bad Seeds 10. Cool Enough 11. The Worst Hangover 12. Sin Song 13. It’s Only Chemistry Encore: The Tower