I’m not a very good party-all-night person. I think I made it to 1 a.m. a couple of weeks ago, to see my friend Andy DJ at the Mews, thanks to Shirley Temples, his power pop playlist and a good crowd, but staying up has been a struggle lately. (I’m going to attempt to blame it on the bump and night classes, but I’m pretty sure I’m just solidifying my status a lame old lady.) So it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a live show, and possibly longer since I’ve seen an artist I wasn’t already familiar with.
Enter, the concert lunch date!
I’d never heard of her, but was intrigued by how the series described her as a singer/songwriter whose “powerful alternative style melds together soul, blues, and rock, drawing comparisons to the likes of Ben Harper, Cat Power, Neko Case and Patty Griffin. She is the winner of the first ever Starbucks Emerging Artist Award, the Rocky Mountain Folk Festival Songwriter Showcase and the Rock Boat/BMI Song Contest. Mieka has performed over 650 shows in the past four years including bills with Eric Clapton, Jason Mraz, Citizen Cope, Wyclef Jean, Black Eyed Peas, John Legend and many others. Northeast Performer calls Mieka ‘a version of Sarah McLachlan with a switchblade in her shoe’.”
It was a fun show! I’m honestly not a huge fan of the Temple’s second floor stage as a concert venue (it feels really rigid and overly polite for some of the acts I’ve seen there), but it’s right upstairs from South Union. Of course, in the winter that means a hot sandwich and a big bowl of potato pepperjack soup, which is on my shortlist of things I miss about working downtown.
Mieka has a dark sense of humor that she kept up in her between-song-banter and the lyrics themselves. She struck me as sounding like a rebellious sister of Norah Jones who I could imagine sneaking out of a bedroom window at 2 a.m. with a guitar slung over her shoulder, headed out to play a show at an underground bar in the city. Listen Mieka’s Daytrotter session.
Check out the rest of the series, which includes piano, dance, opera, Americana and and another female singer/songwriter at desmoinesperformingarts.org/LunchUnplugged. (Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door and you can BYO lunch.)