My Brightest Diamond – Paradiso, Amsterdam – 13/02/2007

Is she a little girl?  Is she a rock goddess or is she an opera-diva-magic-fairy cast member of The Wizard of Oz?

Is she a little girl?  Is she a rock goddess or is she an opera-diva-magic-fairy cast member of The Wizard of Oz?



Shara Worden walks quietly on to the stage of the Kleine Zaal.  She wears a Greek styled flowing gown and glows emerald green, basking in the stage lights. There is something playfully charming already, just about the way she looks. She opens with a few covers, songs from modern operas;  one from Revel, a little ditty about a teapot and a boxer, sung in both French and English. Her French perfect enough to make my French speaking Beglian friend ask me if she was French or French Canadian?  Informing my friend that I think Worden is either Russian or Eastern Bloc in decent, raises an eyebrow or two in our party. Worden is classically trained, especially in the languages of the Operatic world, I tell them. They seem to stare in reverie at the stage. 


After a couple of songs, her tall bass players began to stumble on to the stage. Worden’s attention suddenly focuses on her band members’ premature entry on what was, or had been her stage.  "I think I would like to do one more actually, if that’s okay guys," she says, her attention directed off stage, "I’m just having too much fun!  You guys are great!". The crowd giggles quietly, everyone feeling the same way, secretly hoping for one more solo performance. Pleeeasseeee.  



At that point, you’ll already realise I’m sure, she already had me.  The show could have easily continued with just her and I won’t have minded one bit. My friend and I turn to each other and almost spontaneously say, "Can we take her home?!"  I don’t mean that in any sexual way, just simply in the way you would want to perhaps, say, cut off someone’s legs and keep them in a box for yourself only.  🙂


With grace and sincerity Shara Worden cast a spell on the audience of over 150, myself included.  It was/is clear that she loves to perform and that, in itself, is most intoxicating. Song highlights were many, nearly all in fact. Bring Me My Workhorse, though sombre, is fantastically uplifting and has a warm fuzzy keyboard line. Couple that with the pop delight of Butterfly.  The music is filled with subtleties that reach out into explosions, resembling Radiohead’s compositions.  the songs are intricate without being off putting, like fireworks without all the loud bangs. They also covered Led Zeppelin’s No Quarter, which was absolutely phenomenal.  Ironically the Australian band Wolfmother were about to begin in the main hall next door, ironic since Wolfmother appears to borrow heavily from Led Zeppelin, ACDC, and other bands from that era, but denies this influence at any mention.


One of the closing numbers was Freak Out, a song which I feel really sums up the sort of schizophrenic nature of this act.  Is she a little girl?  Is she a rock goddess or is she an opera-diva-magic-fairy cast member of The Wizard of Oz?  Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of dudes there and they were feeling the magical vibes too.  My Brightest Diamond is in no way "chick music." It is, however, music for the trained, mature eardrum and cranial lobes.


The encore consisted of a few more gems, including the cover of Prince’s, or TAFKAP’s… (What is going by now away? I think he is back to Prince: The damn sexy, damn good guitar playing Jehovah’s midget –unless he’s wearing platforms?) Why Don’t You Call Me, Riding Horses, and then the very clever and genuine, The Good and The Bad Guy.


My Brightest Diamond is a tremendously talented act, (did I mention that already?) next time you get the chance to see them live, I highly recommend it.  Bear witness to their enchantment and feel your spirit changing for the better, just like mine has. 


Words and photographs: Zoe E. Gottehrer