Chris Pureka returned to my school last night to play "Rock The Stacks" during our Spring Previews weekend. She played here last spring, and I was excited to see her return since I missed last year's performance.
Generally, I am not a fan of female folk music. I don't like the prevailing vocal style or the similar guitar work that the women use. However, Pureka has won me over with her beautiful singing voice, intense lyrics, and engaging banter.
She played for an hour and a half, drawing songs from her multiple albums and threw in a Bruce Springsteen cover ("I'm On Fire") for good measure. She cracked jokes inbetween all her songs. It was a bit odd to jump from banter to songs - the vast majority of Pureka's catalog is extremely depressing. In fact, she joked that the last song she played was the only happy one in her repertoire. She talked about how a friend sums up indie music by saying her record didn't go platinum, but rather went rusty can. She read aloud a letter she received asking her to try out for Miss Massachusetts. She kept the audience in stitches - if she hadn't, we might have all been in tears by the end of it due to her lyrics.
Her performance was near perfect - the acoustics in the library are perfect for this kind of performance. Pureka is a gifted guitarist, and her gravelly vocals complement her subject matter very nicely. Overall, it was a pleasant, low-key evening - one I wasn't particularly expecting to enjoy but ended up loving.