As Portishead blares through the speakers, Sharon Van Etten and her five-piece band make their way to the dim lit stage. The synth driven, brooding “Jupiter 4” opens the set, evoking a mood of other worldliness within the confines of Hamer Hall, with it’s arched, blonde, wood filled interior.
Van Etten cuts an imposing figure, swathed in burgundy velvet, her smooth dulcet tones, transporting the throng to another realm. Her ethereal harmonies with keyboardist Heather Woods Broderick soothe us into submission and transfix us for the entirety of the show. We are putty in her hands.
“Comeback Kid” off latest album Remind Me Tomorrow wows us with it’s dynamic, rich sound. It’s an early highlight, amidst a hit-laden set, whilst “No One’s Easy to Love” showcases the diversity of Van Etten’s latest release. Stripped back “One Day” is replete with beautiful harmonies, and is full of hope, Van Etten’s honey soaked vocals imbuing the song with subtle intensity and realism.
Sinead O’ Connor’s “Black Boys on Mopeds” about the police shooting of Colin Roach in London in 1983, is performed by Van Etten on piano and as O’Connor 30 years before, muses on her fear as a new mother.
In contrast “Seventeen” off latest release, follows as a sentimental foray into teenage years, endearing us to the songstress a little more.
Van Etten encourages us all to “Love More” during the finale, and we are so entranced by her performance we just might heed her words.