[pictures are mine - more on flickr and fb later, I suspect] I am a pretty big fan of Imogen Heap and was really excited to find out she was going to play Santa Barbara because usually all the big names don't stop between LA and San Fran. So I pestered Jonas to come with me and we bought some tickets (my first ever purchase on my Visa card, right from the AHC cafeteria) and eagerly awaited the date. Jonas had to work later than expected that day and I was nervous that we wouldn't make it in time. On the way there, I saw 4 deer (in 2 places) on the side of the highway! I've never seen even 1 in all my days driving that road before. Poor Jonas couldn't see since he was supposed to be watching the road. We arrived in time (even found free parking, though we then had to put some coins in a door to use the toilet. ha!) and the lady checked the tickets, but when we sat down, we were confused because the ticket only had one seat number on it, though I was sure I had purchased 2. I later found an untouched ticket in the recesses of my purse (oops!).
The evening opened with an acapella group from the SB public high schools - Imogen reviews auditions by groups prior to playing in a city and the best one opens for her (and later sings a song with her in the middle of her set). Next, members of her band who happened to be musicians under other names on their own performed. Geese, a duo on violins and a Mac were unlike pretty much most things I've ever heard - rather cacophonous but still lovely. Ben Christophers played a few songs as well, and as I've listened to him more since the concert, I like him more and more. Imogen started her set after a break (during which everyone brought back drinks from the bar - stinky) and it was nothing short of magnificent. Even better than I had hoped! Turns out this was the finale show of her US tour, and she felt indebted to SB because on her last tour she was too sick to play at the Granada as scheduled. Whatever the reason, she played 15+ songs - the concert lasted 4 hours. The lights were great, she was great, the band(s) were great, etc. It is a good memory. She is much more socially relaxed than I expected. She was quite funny and interacted wonderfully with the audience. She had the audience sing in rounds for "Just For Now" and at the end of the show, people called out melodies and keys and she created an improv song from it! You can buy it here when it's posted - the proceeds go to a local charity. For her first song, she came out spinning some sort of whirring thing above her head which she then let go of to free her hands for a keyboard. When she let go of it, it hit her sound board and messed everything up, so she scampered away and restarted the whole thing. It was quite funny and endearing. She had a very cool see-through piano and used all sorts of other instruments (including an ordinary saw [actually played by another member of the band], a gong, and a "water bell[?]") as well as her famous and flawless looping techniques. It was great to hear the stories behind each song.
She is a humble women with a great sense of style, great sense of humor and a great great deal of vocal and instrumental talent. She hit every note - actually reminded me of Vitas at once point (in a good way). She is quite tall and I bet her boyfriend is nice as well. She actually looks a bit like my aunt Molly to me. The crowd loved her, of course. They stood in their seats, cried, screamed (Imogen raised her eyebrows), kissed, sang along in the wrong parts right as the room went quiet (twice. haha!) and drank. I knew every song, though she didn't play my favorite song. If you can't tell, I loved it. I'm very excited to have seen her live and would do it again in a heartbeat. You should go, even if you only kinda like her (as was the case with Jonas, who quite enjoyed the show as well ^^) - you will not be dissapointed! On the way home, Jonas and I admired the moonlight reflected off the ocean. Lovely evening. The end.