Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Take a chance

The benefit of the low-priced concert, especially when one can avoid all the surcharges too, is that it allows one to take a chance. For the price of a new CD (or less), why not?

The Wexner Center has become the premier spot in town to catch up-and-coming artists without breaking the bank. (Buy from their box office, and you avoid the Ticketmaster fees.) In the past few years I've seen several terrific shows in intimate spaces without spending much. What could be better?

I wouldn't go so far as to call what they're doing "curating" when selecting artists to perform there, but in my observation the folks at the Wex aren't just booking anyone who might wish to pass through Columbus. In other words, based on the quality performers I've seen them present, I feel like I can trust who they welcome to play their venues. I may not be interested in all of the acts they bring in but who would?

This is all a roundabout way of saying that I decided to go to tonight's Laura Marling concert. I did give her new album a test spin on the soon-to-be-shuttered Lala, so obviously I liked what I heard enough. Still, one listen on a computer isn't exactly much to go on when heading to a show.

It didn't matter. Marling was terrific and, to say what probably every article about the 20-year-old folk singer surely mentions, poised well beyond her years. The kind of music she plays isn't going to be getting heavy spins on radio stations or filling stadiums, but nevertheless, I felt like I saw a major talent tonight. It's hard to believe she's that good this early.

Hmm, maybe that inexpensive concert ticket wasn't so cheap. There's an album or two I need to buy now.

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