Posted by: Cory | March 3, 2009

REVIEW: Brett Dennen @ Headliners – 3/2

Brett Dennen came back to Louisville on Monday night to a well received and attentive crowd.Brett knows to play the cities that love him and he clearly loves this city back as he’s been here something like 5 times over the last two years and the crowds have gotten progressively better and younger.  I was really unfortunate to have arrived just moments after The Little Ones completed their set because after the Crystal Castles mix of their song “Lovers who Uncover”, I was really excited to see them.  My thought was that…I’ve seen Brett several times, and while it’s always a good show, this one wouldn’t be anything to call my mother about.  I was wrong…because of each of the performances I’ve caught, I would have to say this one was tops…and that is without him even playing my favorite song, “Desert Sunrise”.  Past performances, Brett had felt a little awkward on stage, despite as-always being comfortably barefoot, but tonight and in the Headliners setting (despite the multiple Louisville performances, he’s never played Headliners) he seemed at home and his set consisted of a much funkier and danceable sound than usual.  Brett’s music has always had that sort of summertime goodtime feel, but the hint of Tracey Chapman you heard back in 2005 has given way to funk, particularly on “All We Have” and “Heaven“.

When it comes to artists whose music I am familiar with, the quality of the performance rules the day, but it’s worth noting that the musicianship of the band felt tighter than before.  However, getting back on point, Brett had great energy and interactivity with the crowd, even adapting “Ain’t Gonna Lose You” to include the lyrics “I knew when I met you, I was lucky/I’d follow you all the way to Louisville, KY”, “I’m a thoroughbred” and “Sittin’ on the porch drinking mint julips”, each of which won massive applause from the crowd.  During crazy, Brett took a moment to appreciate the crowd, telling us we were a great crowd, being both pretty and smelling nice and mentioning that we could be a little smellier.  Now, I presumed that meant we should start dancing a get a little sweaty and stinky, but during “Ain’t No Reason” and “She’s Mine“, somebody in the crowd took the responsibility of getting things stinkier upon themselves and let out a series of corrosive farts, which was unfortunate as it kind of disrupted two of Brett’s better songs.  The rest of the crowd seemed newly incentivized because for the next song there was hardly a body in the crowd that wasn’t dancing and sweating.  It make for a great way to finish the first set.  For the encore, Brett came out solo and performed “Fig Tree” and “By & By” with just an acoustic guitar and his mic before being joined by the full band for a rock-out finale for the radio-friendly “The One that Loves You the Most“…



  1. Darlin’ Do Not Fear
  2. San Francisco
  3. When She’s Gone
  4. When You Feel It
  5. Don’t Forget
  6. All We Have
  7. Heaven
  8. Make You Crazy
  9. Ain’t Gonna Lose You
  10. Ain’t No Reason
  11. She’s Mine
  12. Blessed


  1. Fig Tree
  2. By & By
  3. The One Who Loves You the Most


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