Bruce Hornsby performs with yMusic at the Strathmore music center

Rock legend delivers performance for hundreds of fans

Bruce Hornsby performs with yMusic at the Strathmore music center
The empty Strathmore Music Hall before the show starts with Bruce Hornsby's piano and some chairs on the stage.

Rock legend and pianist Bruce Hornsby performed a concert at the Strathmore music center in Bethesda on March 6. 

The opening act, yMusic, opened the concert with chamber music. Chamber music is instrumental music played with classical instruments by a small ensemble. It is usually performed in small concert halls or private rooms designed for a small audience. 

yMusic performed songs from their newest album, “Ecstatic Science,” including “Tessellations” and “Thousandths.” 

“Tessellations” is a song that starts fairly mellow and then gets darker and more intense as the tempo gets faster. “Thousandths” has a moderate to slow tempo and a dramatic tone. Neither song has lyrics. yMusic collaborated with Hornsby on his newest album, “Absolute Zero,” released in 2019.

Hornsby greeted a vibrant audience following yMusic’s opening. He started with a song called “Cyclone.” 

The stage lighting was bright and showcased Hornsby in a way that made him stand out. As the featured act, it is expected that the stage lighting is designed in such a manner. 

He also performed songs from “Absolute Zero” such as “Cast-Off,” which features Justin Vernon, the lead singer of Bon Iver. 

“Lost Soul,” which he recorded in 1990 and features Shawn Colvin, was also part of the concert. It appears on Hornsby’s “Night on the Town” album and on his “Greatest Radio Hits” album. The audience enjoyed hearing this song, as Hornsby said that he doesn’t perform it often at his concerts. 

After his solo piano performance, Hornsby brought yMusic on the stage to perform, returning to thunderous applause from the audience. They performed “Never in this House,” “Voyager One” and “Take You There (Misty),” songs that yMusic collaborated with Hornsby on for “Absolute Zero.” 

Halfway through the performance, Hornsby performed more of his well known hits, including “The Way It Is.” The song is about the Civil Rights Movement and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

When Hornsby played the opening chords to “The Way It Is,” the title track on his most successful album, the audience erupted into thunderous applause. “The Way It Is” is Hornsby’s biggest hit. 

Hornsby closed out the night with his second most-famous song, “Mandolin Rain,” which tells the tale of a failed romance and the memories of it. The idea of a failed romance is amplified in the song’s refrain. If there’s a line that captures the mood of the song, it’s “Listen to the tears roll/down my face as she turns to go.” “Mandolin Rain” was also originally released on Hornsby’s “The Way It Is” album. 

Overall, the concert received nothing but positive feedback from the audience. The Strathmore was left a little lighter after Hornsby’s performance. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Hornsby’s upcoming tour was postponed.

trecchio@theeagleonline.com

 

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