Tour Log: Res Live In Atlanta

In the wake of the seven-year gap between her refreshing debut and a 2008 Myspace-only sophomore album, demure singer Res has managed to stay afloat by becoming a road warrior. The consistent shows not only keep her visible, but allow curious fans like myself the chance to hear what she possibly has in store for the next album.Last week, Res made her second Atlanta appearance in 14 months, and faced the uphill challenge of trying to work around a band that was not well acquainted with her material. The headline set started with a song with Res doing a surprise rendition of Stevie Nick’s 1981 classic “Edge of Seventeen.” Here Res pushed her voice from its normally airy phrasing to a strong, crisp pitch that did not falter under the track’s fevered guitar riffs.Even though the venue had supplied plush throw couches to set a relaxing, “quiet storm” ambiance, the crowd rose in unison to groove and meet the energy of Res’ vocals and passion. Unfortunately, the remaining performances were inconsistent due to various miscues and mistakes between Res and the band. Like many brave musicians who pursue music full time, Res on many occasions has to perform with fellow musicians she may have had little or no time to rehearse with. And on this night it showed.Her biggest hit “They Say Vision” suffered from uninspired and uneven playing, and Res struggled to keep her vocals in step with their rhythms. At one point, Res even stopped the show to have an impromptu meeting to discuss what the problem was. You can bet pleasantries weren’t exchanged, and that didn’t even resolve the issue as the bandleader would keep whispering in Res’ ear as she tried to sing, prompting the annoyed Philly native to retort into the mic “I came to sing, not talk.”The smart, mostly 25 and up crowd remained respectful, as we all have off days on the job, but we still cringed on cue when the band butchered the opening of Res’ other big hit “Golden Boys.” These missteps clearly rattled Res, who normally in her performances becomes more outgoing and comfortable once she gets into a rhythm. And while other artists like Amel Larrieux and Lina are adept at improvising through mistakes and taking control of a wayward backing band, these skills are not Res’ strengths.Even so, with concerts most of us remember not how you started, but how you end. And thankfully, Res and the band finally hit a stride with the closing number “Ice King.” The slow, rock-tinged ballad allowed Res to showcase her vulnerability by achingly crooning over a doomed romance with a star-crossed lover. Now, the couches and low lights served their ultimate purpose in giving the couples in the house the opportunity to cuddle, kiss, and do anything else they could legally get away with.Res’ Atlanta 2008 concert fell way short of her memorable 2007 set, but the former still highlighted enough of Res’ talent that everyone stayed and willed her through it with words of encouragement and applause. For an artist having an off night, you couldn’t ask for anything better from your fans.