In Concert: Angel Olsen

Many concerts start out strong but end in predictability.

Not so with Angel Olsen. Here is a voice with ability of rendering attendees motionless. Inside Toronto’s The Mod Club is no exception. Her divine, otherworldy gift has enraptured everyone.


Photo by Myles Herod

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.


Photo by Myles Herod


Photo by Myles Herod

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.


Photo by Myles Herod

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.