Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Show Date: 12.11.19

Vagabon opened up the show with tracks off her new Self Titled record, and holy WOW do I need to delve into it. Her track “Water Me Down” sounded even better live than I thought it could and I can’t wait to sit down with this LP. It just got on NPR’s “Best Music of 2019” list and is definitely worth your time. 

The minute the first beats of “New Love Cassette” throbbed into the room, the entire audience was entranced. Angel Olsen’s voice pinged about with a crystal clarity, cooing and ramping up as the song went on, fueled underneath by slow burning live strings. As she set into “All Mirrors,” and the full band truly kicked in, I already knew this would be one of my favorite sets of 2019. Bass and beats filled the theatre in an ’80s tinged dreamy dance sequence cascading with the shiny pearls of Angel’s voice. All Mirrors may be loaded with layers of strings, but this LP can get loud AF live. 

“How are you up there?” Angel hollered to the balcony, “Do I look like a little bean down here? Pinto! GarBAHNzo!” She giggled and joked at the audience. “Santa’s in the front row, so where are my gifts?” There really was a Santa down there! She was an absolute delight. As Angel finished up one of her songs, she started chatting about her love of Seattle. She quipped “Even if this place were to fall into the ocean, it’s the only other place I’d live.” Eliciting cheers from the audience she went on, “I’d love to fall into the ocean with you guys!” Then she doctored the chorus to Savage Garden’s “Truly Madly Deeply,” and sang about falling into the ocean with us. 

As she set into “Lark,” complimented by spooky strings and pounding drums, her vocals morphed from gentle lilts to fist clutching cries of strength that echoed all the way out into the lobby. The way she writes about love and how to move on after it is exceptionally honest and she really goes through it again when when she plays her songs live. I have to wonder sometimes, “Who hurt you Angel?!?!” Many in the audience would be prepared to fight on your behalf. We share in your love of living in rainy places and know what it’s like to love too hard!

“I got the dang guitar out last night and just FUCKING RIPPED!” She exclaimed and rolled into older tracks “Shut Up Kiss Me,” and “Sister.” The audience squealed afterward with cries of happiness like they were watching a basketball game. People just couldn’t stop themselves from yelling they loved her, or that they’d like her to play a cover of Jingle Bells. At one point she busted into Collective Soul’s “Shine,” actually ripping the guitar riff that leads to the chorus, Duh nuh nuh na nuh na na nah nuh na nuh NUH….. “YEAH” the audience grunted out in chorus like a pack of old drunk sailors. I giggled myself to death a little and came back as a ghost for the rest of the show. 

Thank you for letting your light shine down on us Angel. We can always use a little more light around these parts.  

Photos by Brady Harvey