Hana Zara At Radio Bean October 26, 2014

Words by Tim Lewis.

I had a great time seeing music Sunday at the Radio Bean. I worked until 6, got home and settled for a bit, but soon it was time to head down to the show. I arrived just before 9. The previous band were almost done tearing down, so i hung out until Hana Zara took the stage. She started softly and the room began to get quiet as we realized it was no longer the quick sound check. She opened with The New One from her first album Little Doll and followed with New World Order from her second album Tatterhood. She then played a song she had never played in Burlington. She said she was 17 when she wrote Joker Girl, and she must have been a pretty insightful seventeen year old. That was confirmed later when she played another one called Queen from that era. 

As the evening progressed she mixed in some of her newer songs like Science Fiction and The North. She played an enchanting version of Angel Of White and the audience was mostly the usual focused and entranced crowd. There was a bit of noise from the restaurant next door, a couple of people who could not stop chatting, until they realized they were the only ones taking and quieted for a bit, but most of us were along for every nuance of every word and note. She thanked the audience for consistently showing up a couple of times, and around two thirds of the way into the show, she announced it would be her last show in Burlington for a while. She wants to finish up her degree, but higher education is way to expensive in Vermont, so she will move back to Nebraska soon. Why we are not smart enough to make college affordable and keep artists of Hana’s quality, is something I do not know.

It was wonderfully appropriate when she asked Taylor Smith to come to the stage to play guitar while she sang Dropout Generation. Most of the 9-10 times I’ve seen her have been solo, but he has played a couple of the shows with her. It was cool to watch her just stand and sing, since she’s almost always playing guitar too. Late in the set she pulled out a couple of Amanda songs that are part of an upcoming sci-fi concept piece she is doing. It’s hard to get an industrial feel with a voice and acoustic guitar, but she managed it with delicate precise fingering and visceral lyrics. She wrapped the night in staggeringly appropriate fashion with Afterlife. She wrote the song in Nebraska when she knew she was moving to Burlington and was in that in between worlds phase. The lyrics were just as poignant as she knew she is leaving Burlington for a new life.

After the show I said a quick goodbye, and took the easy walk home. The show was Sunday and it’s Tuesday now, and I can still hear the ringing of her guitar and the sound of her voice.

This post was originally published by Tim Lewis at his personal blog, https://timstriangletribune.wordpress.com.