Gig Review by Fran Prince with Photography by Bianca Barrett

Lissie

Welcomed by her fans, we squeezed our way through the choked room of the Birmingham’s O2 Institute, although bursting with bodies the audience seemed captivated as we entered to the ambient tones of Teddy Thompson. As we settled in a confined corner of the room, I noticed the artists ability to really engage you within the lyrics of each song that he performed, no wonder the folk-blues soloist was welcomed as Lissie’s support act, he’s identifiable with her in that way.

After a foot-tappingly elongated wait at the bar for a pint of cider, U.S born Lissie entered the stage with guitarist Nick Tesoriero and forecast an alleviating cloud across the audience, kindling their gig spirits with track ‘Hero’ introducing her set.

Lissie

“Cheers!” she laughs as the audience applaud her heartily and one devotee declares “I love you Lissie!” to the youthful American singer-songwriter. Sending us ‘Back To Forever’ with track ‘Further Away’ Lissie pairs power ballad vocals with rocky guitar action, bouncing to and from Tesoriero she leaves him to finish off with a unconventional Irish tinged guitar ending.

Lissie

Just as Lissie eases us into the tranquillity of ‘They All Want You’ the front speaker produces feedback like no other, penetrating through the crowd, a shocking “Woahhh!” from the numbers gets the twosome requesting a little less base from the sound desk.

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A talkative Lissie banters with her audience about how she no longer drinks Tequila, and whilst we think the disruptive screech of the over amplified base is all that could damage the nights reputation, shortly in to ‘The Habit’, a broken string stops it in its tracks. Comically Lissie responds “It’s because I dissed Tequila and now it’s coming back to bite me!”, and the audience seemed appeased to laugh with her in an attempt to swiftly move on to ‘Ojai’ a tribute track to her roots, and moving back to her homeland.

Lissie

Luckily for her we barely noticed the saviour of the evening Tesoriero as he unites the twosome again in ‘The Habit’ and we finally get to admire the pair’s melodic vocals, the male tones in symphony with the feminine rasps of Lissie.

Lissie

Lissie honours her integrity as a performer in song ‘So What?’, exuding strength and feminity, like a tigress, she hunts her prey, in this case she targets the falsities associated with the music industry in lyrics “I don’t want to be famous, if I got to be Shameless” and she wants to keep her identity. She stands out to me as a role model to women and an inspiration to the younger generation of artists, fighting to be in the business.

Lissie

Emotion felt ‘Everywhere I Go’ from hit album ‘Catching A Tiger’ angelically has the crowd hooked into an in-sync lip miming silence, and I am mesmerised by her capability to hold a note to what seems like a lifetime. Whilst in a trance, the energising intro of ‘When I’m Alone’ kicks in, and a moodier, harsher Lissie gets us into pacy lyric tripping rhythm.

Lissie

Aptly wishing us a “Merry Christmas”, she begins a peacefully enchanting cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ and I find myself longing for her to cover my long-time favourite ‘Landslide’ by Stevie Nicks. ‘Don’t You Give Up On Me’ from 2016 album ‘My Wild West’ spirals us into an upbeat and catchy track before she ends the set with an incredibly haunting rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’.

Typically adhering to the classic gig protocol, Lissie entices an encore and finishes the night on a strangely paralleled end. She dedicates an emotive ‘Sun Keeps Rising’ to her aunt Laura (who sadly passed away in 2010) against folk-rock track ‘In Sleep’, which ignited the audience one last time, and we were left longing for the next time we will receive a lullaby from Lissie.

Lissie

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