Hemming - Live At Benaroya Hall: Review
Fri, 18 Dec 2015 10:09:48
(September 29th, 2015, Seattle, WA) Candice Martello, the powerhouse singer-songwriter from Philadelphia known as Hemming, had her work cut out for her. The vocalist opened for one of Seattle's biggest rock legends at a homecoming concert in one of its most hallowed venues: Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony. No pressure, no big deal.
For Hemming, who walked on stage promptly at 8:01 p.m., it didn't appear that way. And for those in the sold-out but still gathering crowd (many still gulping drinks in the lobby in advance of Cornell's set) who might not have recognized the artist from her appearance on VH1's Make or Break: The Linda Perry Project, she was about to make quite an impression.
Dressed in a faded army jacket and black skinny jeans, clutching an acoustic guitar, Hemming was a picture of the hustling, hard working busker. Opening for Cornell, whose Pike Place Market-inspired "Spoonman" is forever immortalized in song (one that didn't make his set list), was an apt pairing as her immense vocal talent, a crystalline, primal wail, is an easy compliment to Cornell's brooding tones.
It didn't take much to amp up the crowd, and a simple greeting—"I like Seattle a lot. I'm really stoked to be here''—elicited a short-lived Seahawks chant from its rowdy members. "Sports!" Hemming exclaimed, then quickly introduced her first song, "I'll Never Be The Man For You," saying with a wink, "This song is about feeling inadequate."
Playing cuts from her self-titled debut, Hemming had an easy way as she worked the room, and songs like "Give it Away" and "Vitamins"—with its searing ask, "Do you think I'll make you feel better?"—had a way of cutting through the palpable energy in the air. There's a reason everyone from Chris Cornell to Eddie Vedder play Benaroya for more intimate shows: its soaring ceiling and wide walls give way to unmatched acoustics, and for her thirty minutes on stage, Hemming took full possession of it.
She ended her set with what she called "my happiest song"—"Some of My Friends," an earnest, heartfelt ballad to those people you know in your early 20s who have a way of shaping your course through life. It had a similar spirit to a song like Jim Carroll's "People Who Died," but Hemming left you feeling only the good parts.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff
Buy Hemming music on iTunes