Norah Jones at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

Photos of the Norah Jones concert at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, May 11. Photos by Jonathan Welch

A taste of the evening, from Charmaine Colosimo:

An excited crowd gathered Tuesday and quickly filled the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in anticipation of the jazzy diva’s talents. Jones started her set with new originals from her fourth album, The Fall, released late last year.

Her current tour, which will run through August, includes a 5-piece band featuring two guitars, a bass, keyboard and percussions. In her newer tracks, Jones’ delicate voice struggled to rise above the crusty tones from her trademark organ, and was occasionally lost in the overpowering instrumentation. But she shined when she sat at her piano, topped with a warm red lamp, and pelted out smooth melodies skillfully accompanied by her own hands on the keyboard: This was what the audience was waiting for.

Over her 90-minute show, Jones fused a variety of soul, folk, and country. Her cover of Johnny Cash’s “Cry, Cry, Cry” was a refreshing crowd pleaser.

Jones’ sporadic interaction with the audience always caught the crowd’s attention, as she shared a story about spending time Monday in Asheville, and commented on a friendly local who gave her a typewriter. She also polled the audience for a possible name for her (still) un-named band.

Her occasional swaying and grooving on stage was mirrored by a handful of younger attendees, who couldn’t sit still and gathered in the side aisles for a makeshift dance floor. 

At the evening’s end, the audience offered a standing ovation that lasted more than just a moment, until the group reemerged for a two-track encore that included a departure from Jones’ genre — an acoustic Appalachian-style a-capella number with cajon and accordion.

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