Live – Marissa Nadler @ Church on York, LA

Posted in Live Review, MUSIC
On Friday night at the Church on York, Marissa Nadler took to the stage backed by a cello and viola. Perhaps never were a venue more suited to a performance. An old defunt church draped in a single continuous swathe of white plastic ribbon from cedar ceiling to the pews which largely match her own style, in her white dress with loose rips at the hem. From what used to be an altar, Marissa and her friends performed with a beautiful spirituality befitting the venue dreamy and atmospheric harmonies and even incense burned to complete the spiritual experience.  Only the tecate and blue moon seemed ill-fitting. The harmonies were never stronger than in “Firecrackers” and those harmonie gave way briefly a few songs later to put an emphasis on a rockier sound in “Anyone Else” as the cello gave way to keys. The set was largely dedicated to her latest album, “July” with almost the entire set coming from it. In fact it was the full album save only for “Desire” and “Nothing in My Heart.”  Despite the solemnity in so much of Marissa’s music, she took a number of occasions to connect with the audience, joking about her version of a “Shredder” being “Was it a Dream?” and describing the absurdity of being asked to perform “Drive” recently on the talk radio show “Car Talk,” noting that its about quite a bit more than merely being in a car and driving. She made that abundantly clear by the emotional proclamations that “If you ain’t made it by now, you ain’t ever going to make it” and how there’s “nothing like the way it feels.” The set ended with the first song of the night that wasn’t from July, namely set-closer “Fifty Five Falls” from her 2004’s “Ballads of Living and Dying” and the darkness of that song contrasted just as well with the parochial environment as the more light and dreamy songs did.  For the encore, or what Marissa called the “codicil,” she performed a Townes Van Zandt/Bruce Springsteen mash-up cover of “Tecumseh Valley”/”I’m On Fire.”
1. We Are Coming Back
2. Holiday In
3. Dead City Emily
4. Firecrackers
5. 1923
6. Anyone Else
7. Was it a Dream (our shredder)
8. Drive
9. I’ve Got Your Name
10. Fifty Five Falls
11 Encore: Tecumseh Valley/I’m On Fire (Bruce Springsteen/Townes Van Zandt cover)

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