It was a sold-out, enthusiastic crowd at Linda Eder‘s concert on Thursday, April 3, 2014 at The Barns at Wolf Trap. Between the energy of the crowd and Eder’s own humor and magnificent voice, it was truly a night to remember.
Eder called this concert “A Walk Down Memory Lane,” songs from when she was younger all the way through the present day. The audience responded very well to her chosen songs, which included some of her “greatest hits” (“Someone Like You,” “Vienna,” “Man of La Mancha,” and a sweetly moving “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”) as well as some songs from her younger years, including “I’m Not Lisa,” “Fernando,” and her concert opener: “Through the Eyes of Love (“Theme from Ice Castles”).”
Linda Eder has always been fantastic with pop power ballads, and her opening number set the tone for the evening with her dramatic and sumptuous vocals, including her signature lush high notes. She is also surprisingly versatile, navigating eclectic musical styles with ease: a jazzy/bluesy “Stormy Weather,” various pop and Broadway ballads (including a stunningly emotional rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina”), and even country/western with the sad “I’m Not Lisa.”
Part of the fun of Eder’s concerts is her personality. She makes even the largest venues seem intimate, and in such a venue as the Barns, which truly is an intimate venue, each audience member feels like a personal friend. Eder’s sincerity, humor, and straightforward, down-to-earth manner make her audiences love her, many returning over and over to see her perform in concert She then asked for a show of hands near the beginning of the concert of who had seen her perform previously, and it was well over half the audience. Such an excited audience, combined with her charm and her lovely voice, made for a truly memorable night.
One of the highlights of the night was a heartfelt rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream,” which brought many audience members to their feet. Eder also poked fun at the seemingly never-ending winter, much to the audience’s delight, when she prefaced her rendition of “At Last” by saying that the song is supposedly about a man, but she is singing it about spring!
The fabulous backup musicians really added to the concert as well: Peter Calo on guitar, David Finck on bass, and Billy Stein as Music Director and pianist. They provided backup vocals on various songs (including a fun duet between Peter Calo and Eder on “Fernando”), and generally added to the merry atmosphere.
One of the hallmarks of Linda Eders’s singing style is the emotion and depth she brings to her songs, and nowhere was this more evident than in her closing encore of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows/Over the Rainbow.” Sweet and sincere, yet full of longing, it was a lovely way to end this great concert. The audience clearly agreed, jumping to their feet in a fully deserved standing ovation.
While many of the songs presented last night were familiar ones, it was a most enjoyable walk down memory lane.
Running Time: One hour and 40 minutes, with no intermission.