Home Live Review Live Review: Brandi Carlile @ The Anthem — 3/21/24

Live Review: Brandi Carlile @ The Anthem — 3/21/24

Live Review: Brandi Carlile @ The Anthem — 3/21/24
Brandi Carlile performs at The Anthem on March 21, 2024. (Photo by Marc Shea)

Early last week, the Library of Congress honored Elton John and Bernie Taupin with the Gershwin Award. Part of the ceremony was an all-star concert with performances by Joni Mitchell, Annie Lennox, Garth Brooks, Metallica, and Brandi Carlile.

So while she was in town, Brandi decided it would be cool to do a show at The Anthem as well! It was such a good idea that they had to add a second show!

The entire evening was unusual from the beginning at The Anthem for the first of Carlile’s shows on March 21. The shows weren’t part of a tour. Brandi had recently wrapped up a series of shows that were mostly cover songs. But these two dates were one off’s (two offs?). So there was no new album to support, no rush to get on stage or off stage.

There was also no opening act listed, but we were surprised when Brandi’s bandmates, Tim and Phil Hanseroth came out to open the show with their first single (which was available when the clock struck twelve that night) and several other songs they had written for an potential upcoming Hanseroth Twins album. They also talked about the show honoring Elton John and Bernie Taupin. One of their favorite memories of the event was when Metallica walked by so close they could smell them. That drew a lot of laughter as they started their last song. The duo played for about 25 minutes before departing the stage temporarily.

A little after 9pm, the house lights dimmed and the crowd came to life. Brandi appeared on stage accompanied only by Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Before she jumped into the music, she took a few moments to talk about the show we were about to share. The group planned on playing some new and old stuff and some stuff that they hadn’t played in a long time. The show started with “Follow,” the first song from their first album. About 20 seconds into the song, they flubbed it and started laughing. But, no harm, no foul. It’s the first song of the evening. Just start over!

After the show got rolling, Brandi and company wasted no time getting into things. Before she began the second song, “The Things I Regret,” she had to have a tech come out and adjust a mic near the floor. She told everyone she wasn’t going to stop stomping so they had to make sure the mic would stay put!

The third song of the night was the one that introduced me (and millions of others) to Brandi, “The Story.” If anyone in the audience wasn’t standing yet, they certainly jumped up for this one. 

Watch the official music video for “The Story” by Brandi Carlile on YouTube:

After playing “The Eye” a few songs later, Brandi started to tell the backstory to the song Mama Werewolf when someone in the crowd called out “Just Kids.” Brandi said that was such a deep cut that she had to play it. So she did, kind of. She sang the first verse and chorus before moving on to “Mama Werewolf.”

When Brandi introduced “You And Me On The Rock” a couple of songs later, she introduced the crowd to the duo SistaStrings. That’s Chauntee and Monique Ross on violin and cello, respectively. They have a history of touring with Brandi, and it shows! They were given several moments to shine on their own and they took full advantage on songs like the Joni Mitchell song “Carey.”

Stories play a huge role in Brandi’s shows. She has become a masterful storyteller in her music but also during her live performances. Just like the Hanseroth twins, she talked about the Elton John/Bernie Taupin celebration. She spilled the beans that Annie Lennox was not only at the all-star concert the night before, but she was also in attendance that night at The Anthem, and it made her a little nervous! She also told the twins they were weird for sniffing Metallica.

Brandi and the band then broke into the set they played the day before for Elton and Bernie. They performed an intense version of “Madman Across The Water” followed by Skyline Pigeon.

During a break between songs, someone called out “Pride & Joy.” Brandi replied that she was going to play that one, but not yet. It took four songs, but she eventually made good on her promise saying that The Anthem seemed like a place where you could play long and no one would care.

After “Pride & Joy,” the band thanked everyone and exited. A few minutes later, there was a bustle up in the first level of balconies. A spotlight shone on the crowd in the balcony and lo and behold, it was Brandi, Phil, and Tim huddled around a single microphone. They sang “Beginning To Feel The Years” with just a ukulele. It was something I had never seen before and I loved it!

After the song was over, attention shifted back to the stage where SistaStrings reappeared and played a beautiful medley of songs they call “Sista Jam.” Brandi and the twins returned and said they were going to play a song but the lyrics might not be the kind you can write today. They proceeded to rip into a killer version of Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” followed by her own song “This Time Tomorrow.”

This show was one of those that you’ll always remember. It was the definition of a one-off, even though it was two dates. But the entire band sounded relaxed and like they were just up there, having fun. And that feeling fed the crowd which, in turn, fueled the band. Brandi even commented how the twins had been playing for three hours by the end of the show but no one wanted it to end. But it did. Fortunately, we have some photos and beautiful memories to bring us back to that night.


  • Follow
  • The Things I Regret
  • The Story
  • Broken Horses
  • Right On Time (In The Canyon Haze version)
  • That Wasn’t Me
  • The Eye
  • Just Kids (partial)
  • Mama Werewolf
  • The Mother
  • You And Me On The Rock
  • Carey (Joni Mitchell cover) 
  • Whatever You Do
  • Madman Across The Water (Elton John cover)
  • Skyline Pigeon (Elton John cover)
  • Sinners, Saints, And Fools
  • The Joke
  • Party Of One
  • Pride & Joy


  • Beginning To Feel The Years
  • SIstaStrings Jam
  • Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen cover)
  • This Time Tomorrow

Here are some more photos of Brandi Carlile performing at The Anthem on March 21. All pictures copyright and courtesy of Marc Shea. 


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