Angel Olsen performed a magical set on Friday December 15th at the 9:30 club. She also performed Thursday, resulting in two consecutive nights of performing. Upon arrival at the 9:30 club, the first thirty people who got to the venue were sent to the downstairs 9:30 backbar to escape the bitterly cold weather and wait for the performance.
White Magic opened to perform a psychedelic display of music which incorporated a drum, a looper effect pedal that played different piano melodies and background vocals, and sang some songs accompanied with a shruti box (similar to an accordion). Even without a band, her solo set was enchanting, as her voice echoed throughout the venue. She performed a few songs off of her 2015 album, I’m Hiding my Nightingale. One song I recommend checking out from the album is “Mora” which gives off a meditative entrancing sort of sound.
Angel Olsen performed afterwards, where her band ensemble came on stage first, wearing bolo ties and light blue suits to match one another. Olsen entered minutes later in a silver pleather jump suit matched with black ankle go-go boots while the stage was blanketed in blue light. She opened with the song, “Hi-Five,” from her 2014 album, Burn Your Fire For No Witness.
Towards the end of the performance, Olsen had a solo performance of “Sans” off of Phases – which is Olsen’s newest album, released in November of this year.
During the concert she mentioned that there was a bar down the street that had named drinks after her songs. She may have been referring to the Five to One bar which creates drinks based off of 9:30 club performing artists. At another point in the show she also mentions listening to White Magic in high school, so it was really special to see and listen to an original muse of Olsen’s open for the show.
Performing popular songs, Olsen sings “Shut Up Kiss Me” from her MY WOMAN album and “Unfucktheworld” from Burn Your Fire For No Witness. The crowd sings along to both songs and Olsen jokes that her band could just play “Shut Up Kiss Me” again.
Olsen also performed songs from her 2017, Phases album. Most strikingly, “Fly on your Wall” is a personal favorite which through its presentation and interpretation of lyrics discloses a kind of vulnerability and unpredictability when it comes to romance.
Angel Olsen closes her set with an encore performance of a couple songs, singing a cover of “Five Years” by David Bowie and “Windows” from her 2014 album. Before singing both songs, she mentioned that they were really important to her.
The encore seemed like a way of wrapping up challenges faced throughout the year, whether it was getting through hardships in general, dealing with mental health, or even a mix of both.
Throughout her performance Olsen asked the audience how their year was and it was clear that a majority of speckled responses matched her weary undertones, showing that it certainly hadn’t proved to be the easiest. However, Olsen gave a very comforting performance during the holiday season that felt very needed, leaving everyone with a warm and heartening show to close out the year.
If you’re curious to know how Angel Olsen’s music sounds and are looking for a sweet serenade, check out this music video of “Special” off of Phases.