LIVE REVIEW: Lia Rose and Kelly McFarling @ Rickshaw Stop, SF 5/2/12

May 09. 2012 | By Hillary Smith

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Lia Rose(pictured above) and Kelly McFarling filled the Rickshaw Stop on 5/2/12 with friends, family, fans, and general supporters. A CD release party for their collaborative album, Conspire, the night was one big celebration.

When Lia Rose stepped on stage, she didn’t do it alone- in fact, far from it. At any one point there were at least eight people on stage, sometimes even ten. At the risk of sounding too busy, they brought out an acoustic guitar, electric guitar, stand-up bass, pedal steel guitar, drums, mandolin, banjo,

Lia Rose @ the Rickshaw Stop

and shakers. The result was a beautiful, full sound. Since the whole CD was a collaboration of Rose and McFarling, they each sang on a couple of songs for each others’ set. Lia Rose opened up her set with song “California”, and McFarling sang along, complementing her sound. Standing right beside each other, it was hard not to compare the two of them. As they sang together, it seemed like McFarling faced the music head on while Rose sort of danced with it. We don’t know how these ladies found each other, but we’re sure glad they did.

Kelly McFarling @ The Rickshaw Stop

Through her whole set, Rose delivered decidedly soft, light, and pure vocals while her band, more like her crowd, provided a cacophony of tight drumming, twang-y riffs from the steel pedal, and fast finger- picking on the mandolin. It’s high time drummer Daniel Blum (also in band Tumbleweed Wanderers) got a shout out, we’ve seen him twice now and he’s delivered a really solid set of rhythm and percussion, always while having a hell of a time.

Lia Rose @ the Rickshaw Stop

Also, Tim Marcus (also playing with Lia Rose, and in a group called Or, The Whale) is a magician on the steel pedal as well as electric guitar. As the crowd on stage gave off noticeably high energy, the crowd off stage bounced in elation. “One thing I’ve realized from my little path in life is that we can’t do it alone,” said Rose. ”We’re meant to have support and love and all of that.” There was no shortage of either.

Kelly McFarling @ The Rickshaw Stop

McFarling (pictured above) had a whole different mood going on in her set. Although there were times of undeniable liveliness, her songs were laced with an unmoving somberness. McFarling had quite a few people on stage with her as well, creating a sea of beautiful, longing voices. She sang with such conviction and sincerity, her voice elegant and unwavering, her fingers plucking her banjo with graceful precision.

For more photos check out our Flickr Set!

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