On a crisp evening, fans poured into Mercury Lounge to witness a rare, intimate concert with Ms. Sharon Van Etten. Weeks before her latest LP, Tramp hits stores February 7th, she played to a sold out crowd on Wednesday. She thanked her fans for giving up their hump day to hang with her. Amongst her fans in the crowd was one Aaron Dessner of The National, who also helped producer her upcoming release. Though not in attendance, Sharon’s other fancy friends include TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone (who was given a demo personally from Van Etten) and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who is her fellow Jagjaguwar label mate. Girl rolls with fine company.
Covering her new album from side A to B, she began with “Warsaw” and continued in order of the track list. As most of the songs were very new to her audience (unless they had streamed her performance the day before at The Greene Space for WNYC’s Soundcheck), they piped up for her single “Serpents”. She had taken the single out for a spin on her first network television appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon a few weeks earlier. She then went on to introduce the next tune “Kevin’s” as a song about quitting smoking. Though there was little chatter between SVE and the crowd, she brought out a ukulele and an omnichord. The latter instrument elicited a cheer of “OMICHORD!”
“All I Can” was well received by the entranced audience. This reporter overheard one concertgoer say, “I really loved that last song.” Sharon’s echoey vocals sure do that to listeners. Her vocals were enhanced especially by bassist/keyboardist Heather Wood Broderick (Horse Feathers, Efterklang) on the second to last song “I’m Wrong”. Though there was no encore, the crowd left completely satisfied and blessed to witness a true artist on the heels of a breakout. SVE plays additional New York shows in February:
February 24 – Music Hall of Williamsburg
February 25 & 26 – Bowery Ballroom
Needless to say, not to be missed.