I really didn’t expect to laugh at a Bedouine show, but Azniv Korkejian was so disarmingly charismatic throughout her blissful performance that I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face all night. Over the course of 75 minutes, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter kept the packed Great Scott crowd spellbound with her incredible voice and at ease with off-the-cuff quips. Korkejian delicately plucked her guitar in a flowing dress while playing a set of songs evenly split between her two masterful records, plus a captivating cover of Elton John’s “Come Down in Time.”
Korkejian began the show solo with a sparsely beautiful rendition of “You Kill Me” from her first LP. Her voice reverberated across the room as the audience stood in rapt silence, before her band joined in to perform a handful of songs from her recent release, Bird Songs of a Killjoy. “When You’re Gone,” “Echo Park,” and “One More Time” were gentle and polished with the electric guitarist beautifully accenting Korkejian’s acoustic gracefulness, and no less rich than their lush string-laden studio counterparts. “Masters of the Heart” was a quietly funky whirl with the drum groove played exquisitely with brushes.
In between tunes, Korkejian held an informal conversation with the crowd where she spoke with fellow Armenians in the audience and let us all know about the “up-and-coming songwriter” Elton John. The otherworldly calm of “Solitary Daughter” led into the tenderness of the country waltz “Dusty Eyes” and the shuffling “One of These Days.” Korkejian and the band then turned “Dizzy” into an extended psychedelic jazz rock jam befitting her 1970s inspirations, before Korkejian closed out the show alone with the lilting “Bird.” Heading out into the frigid October air, I was grateful that Bedouine shared her California warmth with all of us.