Bailen brings a rollercoaster of energy to World Cafe Live - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Bailen is a band that attracts music fans of all ages, as seen at their World Cafe Live gig Saturday night. While not fully sold out, the crowd and band alike were there having a good time. Bailen’s latest album, Tired Hearts, was released last May but they just recently put out a deluxe edition in early 2024. Esmé Patterson opened the show for them and immediately had the attention of the room. Patterson commented a few times how quietly everyone was listening, and that she was right – the room really was very silent during her songs.

Esme Patterson | photo by Ellen Miller

Patterson sang new songs, old songs, and what she refereed to as response songs as she serenaded those who turned up early for Bailen Saturday night. This was her last night with Bailen for this run. Patterson showcased her recent album Notes from Nowhere, dug into her back catalog for “My Young Man,” and shared two “response songs” from a concept album project she did. Patteson described the parameters of her concept album to be: “write a response about a song with a female character…”. The two concept album songs she performed were “The Glow,” her response to The Beach Boys’ “Caroline, No,” and “Bluebird” which was a song she wrote from the perspective of Elenor Rigby, as though Eleanor Rigby knew she was going to die.

The excited audience was not so quiet when it came time for Bailen to take their positions on stage. That is, until they kicked off the set with “Leave Me Wanting More,” which put everyone back into full listening mode. Midway through the show they changed things up and brought a new mic to center stage for a brief acoustic set break. They did four acoustic songs this way including “BRCA,” “Love You Blind,” “25 for the Last Time” and the as-yet unreleased “Just Say No” before returning to the “full band” set up for the rest of the night. The mid-set acoustic segment of the night also included funny stories from weird Airbnb experiences they have had on past tours, a relatable travel experience for many people at this point.

Bailen | photo by Ellen Miller

Despite doing four slow acoustic songs in a row, they kicked the energy right back up with a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” closed the main set with “Here We Are Again,” and wrapped the night with a two-song encore of “Your Love Is All I Know” and “Not Gonna Take Me.” See photos from the show in the gallery below! Bailen’s tour picks up Thursday, February 15th at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, California – check out their tour dates here.

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