As a college freshman, back when Boston clubs were 18+, my friends and I were denied entry from Royale (then known as Roxy’s) on the only evening we ever tried going because my boyfriend and other male friend were wearing sneakers. How fitting, then, that my first-ever visit to the venue, for last night’s Kate Voegele show (technically, the piano-driven Parachute headlined, but I was there for Voegele), took me straight back to five years ago. I was, after all, seeing a singer/songwriter I discovered due to her role as a singer/songwriter on an admittedly terrible, guilty pleasure of a teen T.V. show.
Given that Voegele occasionally plays a parallel universe version of herself on T.V. -- a version, mind you, that’s pretty much just Voegele as Voegele, but with a different name -- she runs the risk of winding up in that weird, “I’m Kate, not Mia!” spot that other artists have tried to navigate successfully, only to crash and burn (looking at you, Miley Cyrus!). Lucky for her, that role has instead positively affected her career. It helps that Voegele was never a main character and that she never tried to suddenly veer from her T.V. self to the complete opposite in real life. (It also helps that she has talent.)
When you get right down to it, Voegele fits perfectly into that ever-happy, poppy singer/songwriter genre that contains nearly all 20-something female artists, unless they’re trying to be angry (Alanis Morissette) or soulful (Adele). Basically, she’s somewhere between Taylor Swift and Lily Allen, with a dash of indie everygirl Zooey Deschanel in there, too -- and that’s not a bad thing. We can all use a little pep and pop every so often, especially sung by a very sweet, slightly raspy voice. Songs like the not-yet-released “Blue Sky Beautiful” and her cover of Bruno Mars’ “The Lazy Song” were a sunny, welcome break from yesterday’s gloomy weather.
But when Voegele lets down that perennial positivity -- she was just so happy to be in Boston, even in the rain, and so happy to see the audience -- and shows a little bit of anger, like on “99 Times,” she rises to a new level. After all, even the happy ones get their hearts broken.
Courrier, the Austin, Texas-based four-piece outfit that played before Voegele, only added to my nostalgic mood with their soft pop-rock tunes, much in the mid-2000s trend of bands like The Fray and Augustana, whose “Boston” was basically (and stereotypically) my freshman year soundtrack. While there was nothing particularly wrong with them or their sound -- and I may have even slightly enjoyed their non-Americana-y take on Mumford and Sons’ “The Cave” -- I think I’ve just run out of room in my collection for their type of music.
Photo by Ailing Lu (Flickr)
About Angela -- It's "Ang," if you please -- or, alternately, Bill, Penny Lane, or (begrudgingly) Angus to some. I've been with TNGG since the site started and am now the TNGG Boston editor for Boston.com. I graduated from Boston University's College of Communication in 2009 and am a huge fan of live music, hockey, and Thai food. I'm also a bit of a klutz, but that's only because my mind and body are always going in approximately a zillion separate directions. Twitter: @amstefano988
The author is solely responsible for the content.