Maybe it was Electric Picnic afterglow but the sell-out crowd who packed into Academy 2 on a damp Tuesday night were highly charged and excitable, waiting on Lissie to take the stage. The-Illinois born folk singer/songwriter and her backing band with their stripped back easy country charm were actually a perfect fit for the much derided small venue.
With the huge marketing push on Catching a Tiger it would be easy to dismiss Lissie as a new Dixie Chick/ Joni Mitchell lite. However this lady is sassy and confident, with a low key natural appearance and an amazing vocal style. Starting out with ‘Wedding Bells’ from her first EP she seemed genuinely surprised at the reception from the audience, and moved into ‘Little Lovin’ which lead to lots of feet stomping, hollering and singing from the crowd.
Moving through the set, sharing anecdotes between songs, she emanated a laid back, beachy hippy vibe and a genuine warmth which only endeared the crowd even more. Her backing band were a perfect foil with smooth harmonies and bluesy guitar solos. ‘When I’m Alone’ is a Fleetwood Mac-esque powerful song that showcased her strong vocal style, whereas ‘Bully’ and ‘Mississippi’ slowed proceedings and brought out her gospel influences.
Her fantastic cover of Kid Cudi’s ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ which brought her to the attention of many earlier this summer, closed out the show, worth the admission price alone. A robust, energetic heartfelt set, from a lady who was thoroughly enjoying herself. She plays in the Academy later in the year, but in the bigger venue on December 7th.
Photos by Alessio Michelini.