Sharon Van Etten
Wednesday, January 18
Better than: Standing outside in that unbearable wind.
It's almost a New York City cliche at this point, but it holds up: there are few things better than tucking into a warm venue on a cold night in the city. It creates a sense of longing for more songs, more encores, more seconds enveloped in notes rather than winds. Last night at Mercury Lounge, Sharon Van Etten provided the warmth that the packed crowd of 250 so very badly needed.
One of the better features of Mercury Lounge is that the stage is low enough for the crowd to be almost level with the performers. (The playing field's even more level for those of us who are a bit taller.) This allowed Van Etten to keep a bit of banter going with the crowd, and to flash smiles at various audience memerslight touches that should not be underestimated, especially since she sings with a determined, almost trance-like demeanor. Between songs, she's a populist singer, worried about her self-described clumsiness and her audience's enjoyment. During songs, however? A meteor could crash into the venue and I'd be willing to bet that she finishes.More »