Eleanor Friedberger @Black Cat, Washington, DC

The Black Cat in Washington, DC, was taken over on Thursday night by indie rocker, Eleanor Friedberger. But before the main event, four-piece Brooklyn band, Hospitality, kicked things off with their high-energy and catchy tunes.

Singer Amber Papini possesses incredibly strong vocals, and you could compare to Regina Spektor. They released a self-titled album earlier this year, which for me doesn’t do them justice in comparison to hearing them play live.


Illinois native, Eleanor took the stage sporting a tan colored, fringe jacket and cowboy boots opening her set with ‘My Mistakes’, and encompassed with a guitarist, bassist and drummer, immediately got the crowd going. Eleanor’s mellow sound is edgy, and her soothing and unique voice has tones of Wild Flag, The Ettes or even Amy LaVere.

Playing most songs from her solo album, ‘Last Summer‘, like ‘Glitter Gold Year’ and ‘Scenes from Bensonhurst’. I was most impressed to hear how many words she was can sing in one breath, while simultaneously hitting the beats of the song. The upbeat tempo of ‘Roosevelt Island’ was a definite crowd-pleaser, especially with the addition of blue maracas, shaken with fierce intensity.

The Black Cat’s musty atmosphere gave Eleanor’s performance a vintage feel, ‘Inn of the Seventh Ray’, a song about Los Angeles, and ‘I Won’t Fall Apart on You Tonight’ both showcased Eleanor’s distinctive voice and on-stage energy. Strong emotions shined through on ‘Stare at the Sun’, and a new song entitled, ‘I Don’t Want To Bother You’.

Eleanor played as if this show was a sold-out arena, and you could see she’s very passionate about being in the moment of each song that she played. She did mess up a few times during the encore, but that only served to endeared her more with the audience in attendance. She is, after all only human.

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