|Olivia Mell singing "Route 17"|
The band took the stage at 8:48 p.m., and kicked off the set with a very fun rendition of “Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson,” a song that Robert Plant and Alison Krauss included on Raising Sand. They followed that with the Tracy Chapman song “Give Me One Reason,” with Tyler switching to acoustic guitar. Olivia has a theatre background, and her acting talent came out in her delightful expression and reading of lines like “You got to call me.”
Then Olivia announced, “We are gonna rock out right now.” And she wasn’t kidding. They went into a great version of “Paris (Ooh La La),” the Grace Potter And The Nocturnals tune. “You got me down on the floor/So what’d you bring me down here for?” They ended that with a nice a capella moment, the harmonies sounding seriously good.
For me, however, the best song of the set was the sweet “Route 17,” one of the two original tunes of the night. Olivia Mell wrote the lyrics and Tyler Nelson wrote the music. This is clearly a great collaboration, and I hope they write some more songs together soon. Tyler was again on acoustic guitar for this one. Chris Turbis did some excellent stuff on keys on this tune. The other original tune was “Be Mine,” which was also written by Olivia and Tyler. This is an unabashed love song. What I love about it is that after she sings “Take a leap of faith with me,” she sings “I’ve got my feet on the ground.” When she’d finished, someone in the audience shouted out, “That’s going to be a hit, Olivia.” And who knows? Maybe it will be.
Olivia said that one of her biggest inspirations vocally was Stevie Nicks, and they played Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” That, of course, is a good song, though I’ve always preferred Fleetwood Mac’s earlier bluesy material. “Now we’re gonna funk it up a bit,” Olivia said before the band launched into Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” a song I always appreciate hearing. The band had a lot of fun with it, though I do wish they had jammed a bit more, extending the song. There were moments in the set when I felt the band was holding back a bit. “The next one is an all-time favorite of mine,” she said in introducing “Beast Of Burden.” She also thanked her parents for giving her good taste in music. Her parents, by the way, are actors Randle Mell and Mary McDonnell.
She ended the set with Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.” The audience called the band back for an encore, and Chris joked, “Okay, we’ll play the whole set one more time.” They did “The High Road,” a song I wasn’t familiar with, but enjoyed. It’s by Broken Bells, and was also done by Joss Stone. I have to say after listening to both of those versions, I prefer the one I heard tonight by Olivia Mell And Her Band. The show ended at 9:39 p.m.
- Let Your Loss Be Your Lesson
- Give Me One Reason
- Paris (Ooh La La)
- Route 17
- Beast Of Burden
- Be Mine
- Thank You
- The High Road
Here are a few photos from the set: