Rachael Yamagata @ The Independent, SF 11/19/12
If Rachael Yamagata didn’t have a beautiful voice, she could be a stand-up comic. Her between songs banter, both monologue and with the audience, was engaging and funny. At one point, when she was talking about not having had a relationship in San Francisco, and relationships are what she talks about, someone yelled his phone number out. She then repeated it over and over, as if memorizing it.
But Yamagata does have a beautiful voice, and she uses it sublimely in songs that mostly seem to be about failed relationships, of which she sings as often as she talks about. Much of the audience knew the lyrics and she asked them to sing along at times. The vocal delivery matches the songwriting, her somewhat breathy sound matching the poignancy of the lyrics.
Yamagata performed by herself on some songs, playing either piano or acoustic guitar, and with a six-person band. The band, mostly multi-instrumentalists, was truly accompaniment, rarely taking solos. Instruments spanned violin and cello to electronics, with bass, drums, guitar, and miscellaneous percussion alongside. The sound was warm and pleasing but never overpowering or competing with the vocals. All in all, a great singer/songwriter with perfect accompaniment.
Check out all the amazing photos from the night HERE.