By Charlene Lee, 16, Senior writer, Walnut HS
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Meiko was great playing at the Henry Fonda Theater Feb. 21. Sadly, she was the only singer who didn't disappoint Charlene at her first concert.

Photo by Charlene Lee, 16, Walnut HS

Joshua Radin’s acoustic folk songs always place on my Top 25 Most Played in my iTunes, and I fall in love with every single track by Meiko whenever it’s showcased on Grey’s Anatomy, so I knew I had to see them performing at the Henry Fonda Theater on Feb. 21. But sadly, I was less than satisfied.

Meiko’s strong, sweet voice rang clear and stole the spotlight throughout the night. “Boys With Girlfriends,” played acoustic rather than with backup guitarists, was the highlight of the night, as she hit the high notes with ease. And throughout her set, Meiko shared background info about her songs, such as “Real Real Sweet,” which she explained was written to take out her passive aggressiveness against her male friend’s jealous stalker ex-girlfriend. Ultimately, the stalker-ex ended the friendship between Meiko and her male friend.

Next came Radin, playing his low-key songs. Following Meiko’s upbeat set, Radin was sadly outshined, even when he had Meiko sing back up in “Today.” His small voice seemed to be lost, especially in his less than stellar performance of “I’d Rather Be With You.” He also botched my favorite, “Vegetable Car,” a ballad about love from afar that should be (as it is on the recording) sung with a light voice. But instead, Radin’s voice sounded burdened and hoarse, causing the silent crowd to applause politely at the end.

And on top of that, the opener was slow and easily forgettable except for his quirky banjo and over-enthused drum accompaniment. Plus, I didn’t need to hear six-plus songs worth of Jesse Harris’s identical tunes and strained voice as he tried to belt out those high notes.

I had hoped my first concert would be exhilarating; instead, except for Meiko’s performance, the rest of the night was a disappointing dud.