That Spell is out on Fantasy Records
The last remnants of Hurricane Ida were clearing right as people started making their way upstairs to see Andrea von Kampen croon and help us forget about the last year, if only for an hour. It feels kind of gross to constantly look at everything through the lens of the last nineteen months’ trauma, but when it’s something as big as the return of live music, I think it’s important context.
I had this kind of romantic notion that my first show back was going to be a massive, over-the-top, wall-to-wall overcrowded show where I would sweat myself half to death, but that’s not really what you go to see von Kampen for. Getting to dip my toes back into the water with a stripped back and sentimental show made the experience all the more memorable.
On stage with only her guitar and microphone, Andrea Von Kampen gave the crowd something more timeless than an intense light show or set design – a genuine, in-person, human connection. Nothing about the night came across as polished perfection, but that’s what made the show so great.
Von Kampen’s banter with the crowd was stiff at points, but it resonated with the audience. And, really, who can blame her? I’ve only had conversations with maybe ten people face-to-face total in the last year – I couldn’t imagine having to chat with twenty or so strangers at once with a spotlight on me.
In between jokes about making her suitcase lighter by buying copies of her new record That Spell and the ever-present refrain of “before the pandemic,” von Kampen adeptly navigated through her set, belting out the atmospheric highs of “Take Back Thy Gift” and the soulful tones in “Let Me Down Easy.”
Her standout performance came with von Kampen’s rendition of Stephen Foster’s 19th-century American standard, “Hard Times Come Again No More.” Adapted for a pre-pandemic (but not yet released) project, the song has now found new meaning for von Kampen and the crowd, as I think all of us can agree – we could use a break from the hard times.
After finishing up her stint on the east coast, Andrea von Kampen’s tour continues west-bound, with a handful of dates in Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri – to name a few. Click here for more details and ticket information. See more on Soundazed.