Monday, February 6, 2017

Live Shows: Lady Lamb and Henry Jamison, 3S Artspace, Portsmouth, NH 2/4/17

Photo by Ken Sears
To support her latest EP, Tender Warriors Club, Lady Lamb is touring around playing acoustic shows in living rooms and other smaller, alternative, more intimate spaces. In Portsmouth, NH, she played 3S Artspace, one of the few traditional venues on the tour. Oddly enough, 3S Artspace is almost five times the size of the Portsmouth venue she played with a full band two years ago, but who can complain with a Lady Lamb show, right?

Anyone who has seen a Lady Lamb live show in recent years knows that there's a point where the band goes away and Lady Lamb plays a few songs solo. This was an entire set of that. In the past four years, I've seen Lady Lamb as both a trio and as a larger ensemble that borrowed in members of Cuddle Magic, Xenia Rubinos, her dad, etc. This was my first time seeing her perform an entire set solo. While her much earlier work might be ideal for a solo act, her last few releases are much more complex and have enough multi-instrumentation that even a larger band than her trio have trouble recreating it fully. This allowed for completely different takes on some favorite songs. She described the evening's rendition of "You Are the Apple" as "wonky," but no one in the crowd seemed to mind. It also allowed for the return of her banjo, which was dearly missed during her 2015 tour. This also allowed a song like "Little Brother" to make a welcome return. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen that one performed live since 2013. After her main set, Spaltro came back for a version of "Crane Your Neck." This just reiterated how special this current tour is.

One thing truly striking about this performance was how many extremely young kids were at this show. Young as in they're probably still in grades with single digits. A few of these girls had made up their own little hand gestures for certain songs. 10-15 years ago (ok, maybe even 5 years ago) this would have annoyed me to no end. Maybe I'm just old and a dad now, but the other night I found this endlessly endearing. It could be because it's great to see kids into any musical artist that didn't start on The Disney Channel. Lady Lamb seemed to appreciate the greatness in this, as she stopped the show to interact with them a few times. Let's see these girls get that type of interaction at a Taylor Swift show.

Opener Henry Jamison played a fairly brief set. It was extremely well received by the crowd, to the point that Jamison mentioned how rare it was to have an audience actually listen. He played a set of fairly standard singer-songwriter fare that was heightened by his ability to actually write a pretty great song. He appears to be in the early stages of a career that has great promise in the next few years. I'd expect to see a decent amount of him here in the future.

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