Concert review: Laura Marling
- The Assembly Theatre at The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis
- Minneapolis, MN
- Opener: Paul Metzger
- August 14, 2013 by The Way That He Sings
Photos and review by Joe Stadele for The Way That He Sings on August 15, 2013.
Laura Marling keeps her setlist close to her heart, wears her heart on her sleeve, and under that sleeve, perhaps, lyrics to a cover song. In stripped down set void of a backing musicians or even a tech crew, Marling took the stage armed with just an acoustic guitar and her beautiful husky English voice.
“You’re very kind to sit through a 16 minute opening song,” Marling softly quipped after a seamless 3-song mashup of “Take The Night Off”, “I Was An Eagle” and “You Know”. With her microphone just slightly out of reach throughout the show, Laura tippie toed up to the microphone as her inviting English coo filled the hall with a set filled with emotional songs of broken love. A few chords in to “I Speak Because I Can” Marling even acknowledged this paradox as she joked, “If you put my songs together, you get the impression I’m not very keen on men, but it’s not true! (laughing) I love men. I like a lot of great things about men.”
In the spirit of full disclosure, Marling displayed the handwritten lyrics to Simon & Garfunkel’s “Kathy’s Song” across her right forearm, a song she said she wishes she would have written. As she sang, “The only truth I know is you, ” you’d be hard pressed to learn this S&G song wasn’t, in fact, her own. The emotion in her voice came to full fruition during a stern performance of “Master Hunter” and a galloping new song in which she sang, “Do you know how strange I love you? Do you know how strange it hurts?”
Without the aid of stage crew, Marling had to take the time to adjust tuning throughout the set. “ (tuning) is actually part of my show now,” Marling joked as she explained her pursuit of a simpler touring experience. Though tuning only took minimal time, it did push into the twelve song set that felt a little short clocking in at just under an hour.
Marling, who is just now beginning to gain recognition stateside, is a singer-songwriter to watch with a stage show to back it up.
Banjo extraordinaire Paul Metzger, commanded the audience’s attention during his masterfully performed two-song opening stint. Metzger guided the audience through a 20 minute Eastern-influenced instrumental, performing with a self-modified 23 string (YES, TWENTY-THREE STRINGS) banjo that often times felt sitar-like in sound. His inspired performance was one that Laura Marling praised upon taking stage.
Laura Marling’s Setlist
- Take The Night Off/I Was An Eagle/You Know
- Master Hunter
- Unknown New Song
- Rambling Man
- I Speak Because I Can
- Kathy’s Song (Simon & Garfunkel)
- What He Wrote
- Saved These Words