Lissie @ Concorde 2 18th March 2014

Lissie at the Concorde 2 was a gig I was really looking forward too. The new album Back To Forever is amazing and when I saw her at Koko last year I was blown away. I like the Concorde 2 but it is not my idea venue as it is right on the sea front which means it will take some time to reach the station once it is all over. The weather outside was a mixture first it was really sunny then the later it got the temperature dropped. The fact it didn’t rain was a bonus.

“Hello. What an amazing crowd already. Thank you for making it a sold out show for us” Maurus said as soon as she stepped onto the stage. I was rather excited to just witness this epic 19 tune set. They then took things back by opening with Hank Williams cover Wedding Bells which featured on the Fat Possum release Why You Runnin’ which was an EP prior to the release of Catching A Tiger. Still this take on this was simply stunning. Wedding Bells was smooth and soft. The vocal delivery was extraordinary. Whilst it was not infectious the lyrics were extremely memorable “Wedding bells are ringing in the chapel/ Should be ringing out for you and me/ Down the aisle with someone else you’re walking/ Wedding bells will never ring for me” What I adored was this is very precise you can clearly have a mental image of what is happening in your head. Lissie definitely does this beautiful song justice. Straight after it was onto something from the début record Catching A Tiger. The number on question being Bully. This was slow paced song and sounded ever so gentle before the drums came in to give the tune that extra something. Bully was extremely mesmerising and you could clearly picture. It was about standing up for yourself after being bullied verbally and don’t let this get you down. If you really want something don’t let anything stand in your way “The world is yours/ Carry this torch/ And use your voice”. Now the extended ending was pretty awesome and there was some impressive guitar riffs. It was then onto something that was delivered at a steady pace and at the same time it was extremely upbeat. It was then onto something that was delivered at a steady pace and at the same time it was extremely upbeat. The tune in question being Record Collector, it was belted out and the gentle chorus saw Maurus refer to god as being female “One time–there was this one time/ When I swore God, she spoke to me/ And she told me, oh yes, she told me/ Of all the wonders that she could bring”. When Record Collector was approaching the end the pace became more frantic. “We’re going to play some songs off that for you obviously as well. This being one. If you don’t have Back To Forever please go and purchase it. You can stream it but you have to buy it” Lissie then said before diving into Can’t Take It Back. Now this sees Maurus go into folk rock territory. I must say this was extremely incredible and every ounce of energy went into delivering a startling performance. My favourite part had to be the powerful chorus “And even if you say that you’re sorry/ I won’t forget/ Even though you didn’t mean it/ You can’t take it back/ Can’t take it back/ Can’t take it back”. Whilst it was strongly delivered there were softer parts. It was then straight into Sleepwalking which is by far my favourite song from the sophomore album. Now this has everything. The pace was smooth aided by killer hooks and a wondrous chorus. It was a cracker of a song and it is one that can easily get you jumping up and down. I was literally in a trance when Lissie sang this highly contagious song. It was then onto something which Maurus has said is her favourite song from the album and this being They All Want You. Now this number was very chilled out and a tiny part of it reminded me of Islands In The Stream. This was very promising and it was delivered at a steady pace. Lissie put every ounce of energy into this tune. It was then onto the folk rock song When I’m Alone which was the 2nd single that Maurus released back in 2010. It was literally belted out and the chorus was contagious. When I’m Alone was a foot stomper. I could pick up on plenty of passion from the vocal delivery. “Are you guys having a good time?” Lissie said after kicking off her heels which made her shorter. What followed on was The Habit which Maurus mentioned that they had started playing differently. Now this take was different, it wasn’t as rocky plus on a whole it was a sleek song with uber catchy lyrics.

Love In The City sounded amazing and Lissie’s vocals were smooth. The content may have been a bit slushy but it is a fantastic tune which went down well with the crowd. Following on was one of the many highlights from Catching A Tiger and this being Everywhere I Go. This was a weepy power ballad that you will instantly fall in love with. Just being up front witnessing Lissie perform this right in front of me left me hypnotised. Everywhere I Go was a gentle infectious song with beautiful lyrics “Angels will call on me/ And take me to my home”. Straight after it was onto the thumping Little Lovin’ which went down a treat. “This next song is an old one which was never properly released that I rediscovered and loved” Maurus said before diving into Shroud. Even though it wasn’t released it featured as a B Side to Shameless. The only reason why I think that this wasn’t released was down to the fact it didn’t fit with the feel of the album. Still this was a corker which was played at a smooth pace then as soon as it progressed it gained that extra oomph. This was actually written when Lissie was going through a tough time and you can tell that she was from the emotional lyrics “I feel like, I have lost my mind”. Next it was onto a song which was getting its second outing “It’s a song essentially about the environment” Lissie said before giving the spiel about the meaning behind. Mountain Top Removal is a mining process that they do in the USA were they chop off the top of a mountain. Now this was a slow paced ballad which was faultlessly delivered. The lyrics were precise and straight to the point “I went to the mountain, But the mountain top was gone”. It was then onto Oh Mississippi. Maurus mentioned that she grew up in Rock Island on the Mississippi River. This tune was spectacular, the vocal delivery was outstanding and the lyrics contained a dash of emotion. Lissie literally belted this out and it also made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge. It was then straight onto the first single taken from Back To Forever and this being Shameless. I must say it was completely different to anything that featured on Catching A Tiger. It was extremely powerful and Lissie put everything into it. Rock vibes oozed from this fantastic number. Danzig cover Mother was incredible. This was taken from the brand new self funded covers EP. Maurus made this tune her own. Mother was a slow paced song which left me completely captivated. Things then ended with the 2nd single from Back To Forever and this being Further Away (Romance Police). The moment I first heard it live I immediately I fell it love. Performance wise it was incredible and there was a folk rock vibe along with some impressive guitar riffs. Further Away consisted of 3 verses along with a delectable infectious chorus. The much expected encore started off with Maurus announcing the winner of the “Take a shot with Lissie” contest. Back To Forever was about nostalgia and it also shares the same title as the new record. Now the whole 2nd LP is amazing but Back To Forever is up there as one of my favourite cuts from that album. This was extremely soft and easy on the ear. The lyrics we rather beautiful “Take me back to forever” plus there was a dash of emotion. Vocals were sheer bliss and it showcased Lissie’s strong and extraordinary vocal range. After having a shot of Tequila it was then onto the curtain closer and this being the rip roaring In Sleep. My favourite part had to be the extended ending. I found this to be rather infectious and the vocals just blew me away.

SET LIST

Wedding Bells
Bully
Record Collector
Can’t Take It Back
Sleepwalking
They All Want You
When I’m Alone
The Habit
Love In The City
Everywhere I Go
Little Lovin’
Shroud
Mountain Top Removal
Oh Mississippi
Shameless
Mother
Further Away (Romance Police)

ENCORE

Back To Forever
In Sleep

OVERALL: This was one incredible evening. Lissie was on form and I was sad that I wasn’t attending the Shepherd’s Bush Empire show. The set which was played was impressive as I got to hear both Can’t Take I Back and Mountain Top Removal live for the first time. Having looked at Setlist.fm Lissie had played neither of these songs on the early dates of the UK tour. I was actually surprised that I Don’t Wanna Go To Work did not work its way into the set as it feels like one infectious anthem.

The support came from another American and this being Norma Jean Martine who repeat her name quite a few times during the set. I must say I was bowled over how good Norma was and that is something considering I came into this with not having heard any material by her whatsoever. Norma also mentioned that she was going to play at The Coalition during The Great Escape in May and that is one gig I most certainly will be at.

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