Published Jul 08, 2016Known best as a bass guitarist who has recorded and toured with everyone from Jeff Beck to Macy Gray, Tal Wilkenfeld admitted that a lot had changed since she last played the Imperial Bell nine years earlier as a member of Beck's band. A set that included a number of tracks from her yet-to-be released sophomore solo disc saw her showcase skills as both a songwriter and vocalist, with lyrics primarily revolving around relationships. The runaway highlight was "Haunted Love," featuring Wilkenfeld's expert phrasing on a five-string bass, both her voice and instrument ruling over accompaniment on Mellotron and muted drums.
Wilkenfeld told the audience that an airline recently lost all seven of her instruments. Though six had been returned, the one still missing in action was needed to deliver new material in "Corner Painter." After procuring a spare electric guitar, level issues kept the sound team busy trying to fix things for several minutes, but Wilkenfeld seized the opportunity to entertain, delivering her soundcheck requests in a singsong voice over some blues riffs.
The set also featured covers of tunes from Jeff Buckley, Paul Simon and the Smiths, with "How Soon Is Now?" being the standout. Breaking away from the song's bridge, Wilkenfeld and drummer Tamir Barzilay traded skilful solos with some excellent moments of call and response.