Angel Olsen

A sold-out show featuring American punk band Priests and Angel Olsen captivated onlookers at Music Box Thursday night.

Priest rocked it with some fast-paced rhythm combined with vocals ranging from floaty to clear cut shouting. They were a welcome opener, as their playing kept people bright eyed and alert until Angel Olsen and crew came out. Whether from the purple mood lighting, or the upcoming joy of Tax Day, people were mostly content to stand and slowly sway along to their music. What caught my eye was the guitarist, GL Jaguar, and his snazzy outfit. He was wearing an all white suit, complete with a white top hat, a look reminiscent of musicians like Jack White.

In between sets, the crowd began buzzing over their excitement for Angel Olsen. Once Angel did come out, people spaced out a bit more and began moving a little bit more in what little space they had. Those who know Olsen’s discography understand that her style is dynamic; from the rock-and-roll sounds of Forgiven/Forgotten, to the 40’s style sound of Endless Road (complete with long, drawn out vocals and the scratchy sounding recording underlying the entire piece). Therefore, the decision to keep the lighting as minimalistic paired wonderfully with her actual set, as it kept people focused on the music rather than what was happening around them. Throughout the set, the same purple mood lighting was used, with the only distraction being a black and white silent German film in the backdrop: a move which could appropriately be considered endearing or eerie. Nothing about her set felt as though it were excessive: from the visuals, to the instruments volume, to the length of songs themselves, everything felt as though it had been tailored for the audience. Another notable aspect: the transition from her digital records to hearing her live was at times nearly indiscernible, an act which remains impressive regardless of the artist.

Of course, Olsen’s band performed admirably that night as well, whose instruments never overpowered each other nor Olsen’s wonderful voice. If anything, the group serves as a perfect accompaniment to the mainstay of the group: Olsen herself.

Overall, Angel Olsen and crew moved many hearts that night, and although tears were unfortunately not shed, her performance was as moving as it was beautiful to watch.

Review by: Peter Swan

Photos by: Charlie Spadone