The Icehouse continued it’s surprise of Fall delights with 4 nights / 5 shows of Lissie.
Kicking off the streak of socially distanced patio shows, Lissie has made the Twin Cities her musical hub since moving to Iowa in 2015. Although she’s done an online show at The Parkway back in August, playing live to a crowd has been a rarity since the pandemic. It was apparent from the start that the emotional impact of performing live is powerful. It was also easy to see the reason why all five shows sold out within hours.
Below are five trademarks of a Lissie show to prepare you for “An Autumn Escape.”
Lissie performs barefoot almost all of the time. There’s a comfort on both sides of watching an artist create a stage presence where they can be vulnerable, perform, and express themselves. After the opening song “Bully,” Lissie teared up as emotions overcame her. It had been so long since she’s performed in front of people that she was so grateful and happy to be back. This lead to a few moments of forgetting lines and dusting off some of the rust.
Her restlessness at the beginning of shows tends to reflect in the back and forth with her hair. Pulled up or let down, her blond wildness was in constant wrangling. “Sleepwalking” and “Shameless” had her bouncing around and letting out those restless jitters. This is the sort of authenticity that people connect to.
There is a wall of sound behind Lissie’s lips. Most songs follow the pattern of gradually building up into a frenzy of guitar and belting vocals. “In Sleep,” “Shroud,” and “Further Away (Romance Police)” were prime examples of this. “Shroud” saw guitarist Peter Sieve deliver a soaring solo to strong applause. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her debut release Catching a Tiger, “In Sleep” was another rabid buildup and fierce guitar riffs.
There’s a trademark live voice of Lissie as well. Expression comes first and oftentimes not every word is perfectly enunciated. This is a powerful combination, as her voice emphasizes the energy and emotion behind the lyrics.
Paying Respect Through Covers
Lissie has a variety of covers that she typically digs into at a show. She’s released two albums of covers, Covered Up With Flowers (2012) and Cryin’ For You (2014). Her ability to re-imagine a song and stamp her trademark voice on it is refreshing. “Go Your Own Way” (Fleetwood Mac), “Bad Romance” (Lady Gaga), and “Mother” (Danzig) are good examples of this.
Typically ending with “Pursuit of Happiness” (Kid Cudi), Lissie instead choose “Little Lovin’.” It played well, the crows excitedly clapping along. It also allowed her to let loose one final time with her voice and carry the chants down Nicollet Avenue.
Variety in Selection
Another trademark of a Lissie show is the variety of song selection. Between her four studio albums and five EPs, a typical concert hits on every moment of her career. She doesn’t shy away from older albums and seamlessly blends together hits from all her releases. The order of the setlist is clearly well thought out, making every song feel like an important part of the evening.
- Oh Mississippi
- Further Away (Romance Police)
- When I’m Alone
- Don’t Give Up On Me
- Best Days
- Everywhere I Go
- In Sleep
- Little Lovin’
Infectious in the right way
Looking around the patio at the Icehouse, there is a sheen of appreciation on everyone’s face, albeit partially hidden behind a mask. Lissie has the talent to pull emotions together and musically spit them back at us, which is even more potent and charged in 2020. There’s an infectious desire to watch her perform and give every line, every song, and every lyric the care it needs.
This leads into the final trademark of a Twin Cities Lissie show: it sells out very quickly. Sadly, the rest of the shows this week are filled, but let it be a reminder to keep your eyes open for future announcements from her. Maybe you’ll be able to catch a tiger next time.