February 10th at The Sinclair
It was a quieter Friday night than usual for the The Sinclair, the Harvard Square venue which typically is a commotion of sound, as people all gathered inside to see Lady Lamb perform. The New England born artist had sold out the venue rather quickly after announcing the tour in support of her new album, Tender Warriors Club. Dubbed the “Living Room Tour”, it was designed to be held in fan’s houses with crowds of only 30-40 people. Despite The Sinclair being a far cry from the living rooms that the majority of the shows on this tour occupied, this concert proved to be one of the most intimate and emotional shows I have ever attended.
The night started out with the opener, Henry Jamison, delivering soft, folky songs ripe with poetic lyrics and emotion. Standing by himself with nothing but an acoustic guitar and a single blue light shining down on him, it was easy to feel as though he was in fact performing in a living room–as so many of the other shows on the tour were actually held. He would occasionally take a break from his songs to try to engage the audience, not so much as a performing artist, but more as a friend. Favored topics included the weather, stories from the tour so far, and tidbits about the songs that were on his newest EP, The Rains. Before I knew it, his set was over, and his sweet and unassuming voice was signing off and introducing the main act: Lady Lamb herself.
Accompanied by only 3 instruments–an acoustic and a flamenco guitar, and a banjo–Lady Lamb took the stage. She successfully incorporated all 3 of her major albums into the show, even though the tour was designed to fit the acoustic and live nature of Tender Warriors Club. Starting off with a song from her first studio album, Ripely Pine, she managed to capture the full attention and emotions of the audience from just the very first lyrics of the fan favorite song, “Regarding Ascending the Stairs”. I had never heard an audience be so quiet during or in between songs at a concert, a true testament to the power of the songs she performed that night. I was most in awe over her ability to take her songs, strip them down, and then gracefully transform them into an even more intense, emotional, and intimate story, so that they felt just as new and raw as they did the first time I had ever listened to them.
She was successful in connecting emotionally with her audience, as was evident by the rhythmic stomps during “Heaven Bent” and the room full of voices that accompanied her in singing “Aubergine”. Being an acoustic tour allowed the audience to not be distracted by extra production, instruments, or even extra band members on stage, and focus entirely on her performance. All of this gave the feeling of being in a smaller or more personal venue, such as a living room.
Toward the end of the show, she took some time to talk about the concept of the album and the tour, which she had previously explained to me in an interview earlier this year. In addition to the idea behind the album, she also focused on the need to be kind, compassionate, and above all else, tender. “Make an effort to stay sensitive and tender instead of shutting down,” she warned, as “there’s so much fear [in the world] that can manifest into aggression if not treated with compassion.” Adding that the more sensitive she is, the more she attracts like-minded people, and the more her world flourishes and becomes beautiful. Which, evidently, is what she created for us that night; a wonderful world of sensitive, emotional, and tender warriors.