Photos by Gary Magill
Wary from the LA rain the previous evening, Angel Olsen did her best to captivate the large crowd at Great American Music Hall on Monday night. That isn’t to say her performance wasn’t as stellar as expected, enchanting her audience with a setlist focusing on material from her new album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness.
Olsen played guitar and sang on every song, introducing her backing band as Stuart (guitar), Emily (bass), and Josh (drums). Olsen noticed that Emily was wearing “all types of stripes” after checking on her bandmates and asking the crowd, “Is it drippy out there?”
Opening with recent single “Hi-Five”, Angel Olsen performed highlights from her new album including “Forgiven/Forgotten”, “Stars”, and “Enemy”. She played a few older songs too, including Halfway Home closer “Tiniest Seed”. She steered clear of the vocally exhaustive “Acrobat”, but did perform a well-received encore of “Sweet Dreams” and “White Fire”.
“So we were just joking when we were finished… That was a joke,” Olsen said during the finale. “I am a liar, but not about this.”
Olsen’s delicate vocal range remained remarkably intact, given her continuous string of tour dates, as she was careful not to stretch her voice too far. The crowd was silent and respectful for the most part, except for the loudmouth behind me who was trying his hardest to break the trance of the audience.
After my first time seeing Angel Olsen perform live, I can safely say that she lives up to the hype. The emotional impact of her heartfelt songwriting fit perfectly within the dimly lit space of Great American Music Hall, offering a much needed escape from the Monday night rain. Angel Olsen will continue the first leg of her US tour through SXSW and New Orleans before heading to Europe.