Sometimes, things just go wrong. Meredith LeVande’s music often talks about those times, and it helps listeners understand when things go awry in their own lives.

Unfortunately, at her Sept. 13 performance in the Common Ground Caf, things just went wrong.

What could, and should, have been an outstanding performance, lost its footing early on.

While LeVande tried hard to bring it back, the performance was unable to really pull itself together until the last two songs ? which were an excellent show by themselves for the few patrons remaining in the coffeehouse.

This Friday the 13th performance got off to a bad start when the UR-provided sound system failed to work correctly, making it impossible for LeVande to hear either herself or her guitar.

The 8:00 p.m. performance, for which LeVande was setting up at 7:45 p.m., was unable to start for over an hour.

LeVande, a UR alum, spent most of the evening trying to overcome this initial shock to her performance, as well as continued technical difficulties. These problems overshadowed her singing for much of the night. There were many times when patrons’ conversations made it nearly impossible to hear the performance.

As the show drew to a close, LeVande regained her composure and put on an excellent, if by now greatly shortened, performance. The last two songs drew the audience back into the music and the penultimate number, “Sore Spots,” fully framed Levande’s emotional capabilities as a singer.

In an interview later, LeVande explained the history behind this song.

The piece, which talks about the ending of a close friendship, was written after such a relationship of hers ended. The friend was one of her closest from UR and she did not fully understand why it ended.

“Being here at Rochester allowed me to access [those emotions],” LeVande said.

That song, followed by the more upbeat “Something Better,” ended the show on an excellent note after a disappointing night for both performer and audience.

If someone did not attend last week’s performance, should it be regretted? Probably not.

However, next time LeVande returns to Rochester, her concert will definitely be worth catching. Just hope that the equipment works this time.

If LeVande is allowed to get into her music, the results are well worth the time.

Brown can be reached at

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