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Emiliana Torrini is elated to connect with her audience in a way that few performers can, enjoying every moment of her set, sharing warm laughs and witty asides as she introduces songs and bits of her past.  “I wrote this when I fell in love.  I told him, ‘I think you’re amazing and this song’s for you’,” she says, introducing the cheerful stomper “Jungle Drums”, adding the fact that the guy in question was probably expecting a scorcher “like Leonard Cohen…saying how amazing your hair looks on a pillow.”

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Instead, he got an upbeat, twangy tune complete with Torrini’s sanguine, simulated “grrr-dunk-a-dunk dunk” drum sounds.  It’s one of many songs that got fans at Hiro dancing madly tonight, (especially the pre-school girl in the first row).  The reggae and electro-infused title track from her latest album, “Me and Armini”, was another fan favorite, showcasing Torrini’s talent for a sweet melody that sticks.

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Just as easily, Emiliana Torrini strikes the audience in their gut when delving into the darker side, with rumbling, Nick Caveian, crime of passion grooves like “Gun” or the breathy, tender ode to an alcoholic friend “Ha-Ha”, both of which showed the true genius of her songwriting range while spotlighting the prowess of her incredible live band.

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Torrini’s timeless songs run the emotional gamut: from new love, to the emptiness of loss, to the most inspiring of friendships, while also touching upon seemingly every musical genre.  The tie-in, which brings such a set together and makes it a stunning, streamlined show rather than chaotic event, is Torrini’s effusive personality.  Her talent is one that appeals to all ages, obvious from tonight’s audence, which included fans from age five to sixty.–MVW/photos by Scott Irvine