You wouldn’t be far off: Evans spent time in North Carolina in high school visiting her father from Canada, so she isn’t a stranger to our fair, humid state.
She put on one heck of a show and showcased a sound that was jazzy, but included a world of other influences. She swung the eighth notes, which kept it jazzy, but it was the kind of music that could find its way onto adult contemporary radio stations.
I thought it was so awesome that I did something that I haven’t done in years — I bought a CD. Not because I download illegally; I don’t buy CDs because I have a record player. All I have to do is find a used book store or a Goodwill, and I have an entire library of used music at my fingertips, usually for about a dollar an album. Not that I’m a Luddite, the CDs I already own fill my iPod, and occasionally, in a moment of weakness, I’ll buy an mp3. I’m just cheap.
The crowd stood and danced with Evans during the encore. I was sitting in the balcony trying to maintain my journalistic detachment. She pointed me out from the stage, although we hadn’t met in person yet, and made me stand up. I’ll admit it, I danced, just like almost everyone else there. Luckily, there was room — about half of the seats in the theater that seats about 500 were filled.
The theater was as much the star of the night as was Evans. The new carpet and paint were the finishing touches on a project that has included tons of improvements behind the walls and under the surface. What’s striking about the theater is its intimate nature. The theater is small, so wherever you sit, you’re right on top of the action.
From my perch in the balcony, I noticed Evans performed barefoot, in a long flowing dress. The bassist stood on a rug, which looked like it had seen some better days. The band was talented and earned applause from the crowd with its solos. The band also felt genuine — not like session musicians Evans picked up from a record label; they feel like people who believe in the music she writes. It’s an experience that’s hard to find at arena rock shows.
It’s obvious to me that GPAC and the Civic Center will attract different acts and different audiences. There will be some overlap, sure, but once you visit both, the feeling is completely different.
What’s next for the Civic Center? This Thursday and Friday, the center will host the Fayetteville Orchestra. The rest of the season is set. It’s just up to Robeson County to come.
Neal Timpe is the Features editor at The Robesonian. Contact him at (910) 272-6149 or at email@example.com.