Brandi Carlile is throwing fans or herself a birthday party — take your pick — with a livestream performance of her “By the Way, I Forgive You” album, the first in a promised series of full-album sets, to take place June 1 as a benefit for her band and crew.
She’ll be accompanied by bandmates Phil and Tim Hanseroth and Josh Neumann for the performance, which will take place on the platform Veeps.com, with tickets starting at $10 (and suggested donation price points going up to $1000).
Carlile had taken an informal poll of which album her followers would like to hear her perform in its entirety on Monday, the day she turns 39. That it ended up being 2018’s Grammy-winning “By the Way,” the album that further catapulted her into the mainstream, was no surprise, although there was a lot of support for early efforts like 2007’s “The Story.”
In a video message on social media (in which she brandished the back and front of the painting that Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers did for the “By the Way” cover), Carlile made sure cultists for some of the lesser-heard albums released in the last 15 years needn’t feel disappointed — they’re coming, too, apparently in reverse-chronological order.
“We got such an outpouring of enthusiasm that we decided that we are going to start with one album and then eventually livestream them all,” she said. “We’ll go backwards and we’ll do ‘The Firewatcher’s Daughter,’ ‘Bear Creek,’ ‘Give Up the Ghost,’ ‘Brandi Carlile’ and ‘The Story,’ with lots of bonus performances in there too. We haven’t laid off anyone from our band and crew. We’re continuing to pay salaries and to pay everybody, and everybody is out of work. So I am honored and excited to be able to donate all proceeds from our livestream to pay the band and crew who are out of work this summer. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.
In a video message posted to fans a few days earlier, Carlile said, “I miss being out on the road so much and playing for everybody. My birthday is coming up June 1. I was supposed to be playing the indescribably beautiful Gorge Amphitheater (in her home state, Washington), and I’ve been getting kind of sad and down about it. So my wife gave me the idea of livestream-performing one of my albums from beginning to end, and that I might enjoy that and you might enjoy that. So I just wanted to ask you which one you think I should do. If you could hear me perform any one of my albums on June 1 next week, which one would it be?”
Announcing the result, Carlile said, “In a changed world, I believe I will find catharsis in playing the album that changed my life.”
It’ll be Carlile’s first full-length public performance since the pandemic struck, although she’s made a few appearances, playing John Prine’s “Hello in There” on Stephen Colbert’s show, and participating in a Georgia Music Foundation benefit led by her friend Amy Ray on Tuesday. On Thursday, she was also announced as one of those taking part in a Washington state-based benefit, “All In WA: A Concert for COVID-19 Relief,” set for June 10. The singer has also been doing informal private performances online for her “Bramily” fan club.
Carlile has not yet announced plans for a followup to “By the Way,” but last year released a debut album with her side-project group, the Highwomen. A single by the Highwomen, “Crowded Table,” has just gone out to country radio for adds.