On Saturday night, acclaimed Nashville artist Lera Lynn kicked off her tour in celebration of her latest release, The Avenues. The concert took place at the Tin Angel, which is one of Philadelphia’s premier venues. Rapt listeners fell silent for the duration of Lera’s set, afraid to disturb the enchantment this velvet-voiced vocalist was weaving from the stage.
The night began with a pared down version of the Washington D.C. band Luray. Shannon Carey (banjo and vocals) and Scott Burtona (guitar) represented this typically five-piece indie folk ensemble. Their set opened with a serene soundscape that brought to mind a quiet rural morning complete with sun-glistening dew drops. Throughout their performance, the duo utilized looper pedals on both the instruments and the vocals to craft a number of complex textures live on stage in the moment.
Lera Lynn took the stage backed by Robby Handley on upright bass and Rick Lollar on guitar. The relaxed trio confidently launched into a mesmerizing set of warm grooves led by flawless vocals, performing with an intuitive tightness that allowed the songs to breathe.
Lynn sang with a beautiful amber tone that flowed out into the air with a soothing grace. Her pristine vocals held intriguing secrets that captivated the crowd, making them forget everything except for this moment that she had brought them into.
In between songs, the artist maintained her hold with amusing, provocative, or sometimes just silly remarks that engaged and entertained her audience. The unwavering attention the room offered the performer was almost reverent in nature. At times, the venue dropped to such quiet that it could only be described as awed silence.
As she finished her set, explosive applause peppered with sincere pleading for an encore (“come on,” “please,” etc.) brought the band back for one more song. After leaving the stage, Lera took a spot by the door where she greeted and thanked every single patron for attending her show.
Lera Lynn is a strikingly atmospheric performer who has the admirable ability to hold sway over a crowd with just her voice and a melody. For more information on this must-see artist, visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.