Emm Gryner Stays Up Late at The Attic
July 16, 2004
This was my third time seeing Emm Gryner in concert. The first two times
she opened for Holly McNarland and Jann Arden, respectively, and I hoped
that she would meet my expectations as a headliner. For the most part, she
The show was supposed to start at 10 p.m. with local artist Amy Campbell.
At 10:00 I was waiting at the bottom of the stairs getting a preview of Emm
as she rehearsed. It was almost midnight by the time I took my seat and Amy
Campbell came out on stage with her guitar. She opened the evening with a
mellow acoustic sound. Her songs about love and loss were personal and
painful. All of her songs had the same heartfelt, yet sad sound. She
captivated the audience with her melodic voice. And between songs, she told
stories of being on the road and gave the audience a choice between hearing
about her crappy Valentine's or her crappy New Year's. She ended up singing
After her performance, we waited another 30 minutes for Emm to make her
appearance. Even at the late hour - it was close to 1 a.m. - the bar was
packed with die-hard Emm fans. Not one person complained about the
wait. When she finally appeared the place went nuts. She apologized for the
late show, started in right away, and kept the songs coming for the next
hour. She has a way of pulling you in and keeping you there. The way she
closes her eyes and gets so into the music. Each time I have seen her, she's
been that same powerful and emotional musician, pounding on the keyboard.
She sang favourites like "Symphonic," "Summerlong" and "Northern Holiday"
but even unreleased tracks kept the audience close to the stage and asking
for more. She puts so much emotion into each word, each note.
After singing her last song, Emm said goodnight and went backstage.
But of course, the audience wasn't satisfied and we all cheered her back out
to sing once more. So aside from the fact that we had to wait almost three
hours to see her, Emm did meet my expectations. Whether you see her as an
opening act, or as a headliner, you can expect the same amazing performance.
Writer: Jennifer Nichols