In Concert: Angel Olsen
Many concerts start out strong but end in predictability.
Brimming with a sold-out crowd, she proceeds to showcase several cuts from her latest, and finest, record to date, MY WOMAN. It’s a 10-song set that weaves folk, gospel, and guitar-rock to great effect.
In similar fashion, she also retains the ability to present herself loosely with lyrical banter. “Hate is an illness, and love is a healing thing,” Olsen professes after show opener “Never Be Mine” single-handily grabs the hearts of all 650 patrons.
Lit in golden beams with poignant expressions and matching suits, her six-piece band adds sonic muscle to her earlier acoustic work.
Everything feels fleshed-out and vibrant. Indeed, her retro leaning ways also seem to be a shared and accepted philosophy. With three guitarists, a bassist, drummer, and backup vocalist, the group on stage harken back to a 1960’s universe, relying on old spirits of the Everly Brothers and Roy Orbison.
Show stopper “Not Gonna Kill You” hardens their image. By now we begin to understand the depth of Angel Olsen’s powers. Progressing from folk to psychedelia, her and the band are running wild within a noisy comedown. In fact, you can hear Olsen screaming, “It’s not going to kill you” amidst the clamouring guitars with spine tingling results.
Naturally, she re-emerges and softens the tail end of the evening with encores of “Intern” and “Woman.”
For an impossibly packed show, it’s a fitting conclusion. With everyone on their feet in awe, the down-home folk singer has shot herself to glowing great heights.