Brandi Carlile – Chautauqua Auditorium, CO

Brandi Carlile

One of the few sold-out shows that the Denver area has seen this summer, Brandi Carlile’s show at Boulder’s Chautauqua Auditorium was packed.

Instead of opening, like she did for Sheryl Crow earlier in the season, Brandi brought her band for a full-length show and handed opening duties to local artist Gregory Alan Isakov.

She joined Gregory on a song during his set, and then after a short intermission started her show with a cello solo.

What Can I Say

“It’s so beautiful to see you guys here this evening.”

She said they were going to do a song off “The Story” and “do a little yodeling for you.”

Have You Ever

“You guys are incredible!”

Someone yelled, “I love you, Brandi,” and she laughed, “I love you too!”

She said, “I always wanted to play here since we opened for the Indigo Girls. I was like, ‘Man, in five years we’re gonna get to headline that gig.'”

Fall Apart Again

She took a moment to tune, during which the auditorium fell to a whisper. She commented, “Wow! It’s quiet!”

Late Morning Lullaby

She talked about her brother and sister back at home, Jay and Tiffany. “Sometimes I get mad at them and write mean songs about them, but it keeps me from being violent.” She said the next song was about her little brother and she was wrong and felt terrible about it.


My Song

Brandi Carlile

She introduced the drummer and took a moment to “put myself back together.” Brandi and the twins moved in front of the microphones and Brandi said, “First of all we know we’re standing in the dark and we think this place is amazing.” She said that this was the largest venue they had tried this in but they were gonna give it a shot.

Dying Day

“That wouldn’t have worked without you guys, trust me.” She added that “Me and the twins are working on a new record. I don’t know why I said me and the twins, we’re all working on it, and this is a song for you.

Love Song

“I was watching a YouTube of myself the other day. What? Don’t judge! And I noticed I make a lot of unnecessary noises. So I’ll try to keep it to a minimum. If people say they don’t watch themselves on YouTube, they’re lying.”

She introduced the twins and talked about how they “give the Indigo Girls a run for their money” on the harmonies for the next song, calling them the “Twindigo Girls.”


She talked about her niece, Caroline, and how she’s one-year-old and she’s “weird and kinda cool and really smart” and that she doesn’t get to see her as often as she would like but that for her birthday she got her a “baby-baby pink piano” and that whenever she goes over to visit, Caroline sees her and runs over to the piano to play as if she’s saying, “This is you. Music!”

New Song

“You guys are so amazing! Do you mind if we play you another new song? This is a new song I wrote and it’s called ‘Dreams.’ Don’t worry, it’s not about the Olympics. This song is strictly sexual.”


“Are you having a good time? I am too. I just love singing here. It sounds so pretty. It’s one of those places you come back on after everybody’s gone and just sing.”

Someone shouted that they loved the twins and she said, “Me too. On a good day.”

“This is a song I wrote for my parents.”


“I think this is such an amazing place you that you guys have to sing along, we’ll sing in three-part-harmony. You down?”

during which she said, “here’s what we’re gonna do,” and divided the audience in to three parts, Tim’s side which included “all of you way back there on the lawn, I can see you,” and her section and then Phil’s.

“That was a beautiful sound. I’ll take that home with me. You guys have been such an incredible audience. This one’s for you.”

The Story

“You guys! You’re so unbelievable, but while you’re up on your feet, why don’t we stay there. You know who we’re hoping is looking down on us tonight? The guy who wrote this song: The late, great, Johnny Cash!”

Folsom Prison Blues
during which someone failed to clap and she said, “I see you!” and made a motion showing that she was watching them.

She talked about how she loved Elton John and her favorite album is “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.”

We All Fall In Love Sometimes

Someone yelled “Times They Are A-Changing!” and she said, “Songs like that come around…” and started singing.

Times They Are A-Changing

“It’s true! Speaking of Bob Dylan, I wanna hear a big round of applause for Gregory Alan Isakov. We decided to learn a song together.” Gregory came out and she said, “we have lyrics! I don’t know who wrote this one. You can tell me afterwards, please refrain from shouting it out.”

She said that she learned if from Patsy Cline and that Bob Dylan does it as well and then went about trying to fix the lyrics where she could see them. After multiple offers from audience members to come hold them, someone found her some tape and she said something about it being “Carlile Craftsmanship.”

You Belong To Me

“Can I play ou guys a couple more songs? I grew up listening to Patsy Cline, she’s my favorite singer.” She continued to talk about how her family was always involved in roots music and that “most people who sing country call us rock’n’roll” but she’ll take it as an “upgrade in cool.” She talked about the old country songs that have the most gut-wrenching lyrics to the point they’re “hilarious” like…

Tammy Wynette Medley
during which she sang D-I-V-O-R-C-E, I Don’t Wanna Play House (someone yelled something and she said, “Yeah, that one. Am I that predictable?”) and Stand By Your Man

“One of my favorites of all time,”

Happiest Girl in the Whole USA

“I love that one,” and the “best one ever about the woman who’s so tired of her husband going to bars,”

She’s Hired A Wino to Decorate the House

“Alright, so now that you know where I’m coming from you see this next song is supposed to be funny. My mom doesn’t get it.” She told a story about calling her mom up to play this song and that she thought she’d laugh at the country cliches and her mom just said, “Honey, that’s your hit.”

New Song about Country Cliches

She changed guitars, saying “You guys have been so incredible.” She thanked KBCO and said, “I don’t close with this one so much, but the venue is so beautiful I can’t resist, so thank you on behalf of the boys, thank you.”


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Photos by Nichole Wagner

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