Touring in support of her new album “Charmer,” Aimee Mann leaned heavily on that material Monday night at the Ogden, but she also threw in several lesser-known gems and responded to audience requests during her encore. Opening with a sultry “Disappeared,” Mann’s voice was in fine form, and after ripping into current single “Labrador” (the video of which hilariously spoofs ‘Til Tuesday’s “Voices Carry” video; check it on YouTube), she harmonized beautifully with bassist Paul Bryan on the haunting “You Could Make a Killing.”
On “Charmer,” Mann sings “Living a Lie” as a duet with the Shins’ James Mercer. Standing in ably for Mercer was Chris Porterfield of opening band Field Report. Mann joked that it was strange for her and Porterfield to be singing to each other about a crumbling relationship every night on the tour.
Though Mann had been strong to that point, it was on “Ray” that she took flight. Guitarist Jamie Edwards splashed in and out with haunting fills, while piano player Jebin Bruni perfectly found space around Edwards’ fills, and Mann’s husky alto soared over lush instrumental backdrop.
The band then left Mann to do a solo acoustic rendition of the lovely “Save Me,” and Bruni returned to do “Wise Up” with her as a duet.
The rest of Mann’s set was more rocking, particularly the dark and fiery “Soon Enough” and the jaunty, infectious “Goodbye Caroline.”
Instead of playing her scripted encore (according to the setlist at the soundboard), Mann decided to satisfy a couple of fans who had been screaming for her to play “Freeway” all night, though she said she wasn’t sure her band knew it that well. Or course, they nailed it, with Edwards clearly having fun playing synth fills.
After that, Mann started joking about Halloween and changing things to be “more scary.” Edwards picked up on it and played a short, horror-film-esque synth line before Mann started in on her ’80s closet classic “Voices Carry,” changing the tempo to be a little slower and more haunting. She also changed the lyrics on the first chorus to “This is scary,” to the delight of the audience.
Disappeared, Gumby, Labrador, You Could Make a Killing, Lost in Space, Living a Lie, Charmer, That’s Just What You Are, Ray, Save Me, Wise Up, Slip and Roll, Soon Enough, One, Goodbye Caroline, It’s Not Safe, E: Freeway, Voices Carry, 4th of July, Red Vines