Last night I went along to see Angel Olsen at the King’s Arms, today I wrote some words about it

On the way to the King’s Arms last night I started wondering if I had set my expectations too high for this show. Sure, I’d heard that Angel and her five-piece band were phenomenal live, and Olsen’s My Woman is probably my favourite album to come out this year, but I was haunted by past shows where I’d expected great things and been let down. Ultimately, I dismissed those concerns and went in with expectations higher than Sgt Pepper’s era Beatles because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 25 years it’s that a huge part of who I am is refusing to ever learn anything.

Turns out my worries were all for nothing. Any expectations I had were way more than met. Angel’s voice, which is fantastic enough on wax, was absolutely phenomenal to experience in person. Her songs came alive in a way that elevated them beyond what they are on record, the air thrummed with an electric energy of reverence and awe. Though the band were on their 51st and final show on the tour there was nothing on stage that suggested any weariness. Instead, the band seemed like a team of veterans, used to working with each other and happy to be doing what they do (and doing it well) in each others company. The set list drew from across Angel’s catalogue, with Shut Up Kiss Me and album standout Sister from My Woman getting the most rapturous reactions. Whether inspiring awe-struck silence with the slower jams, or inciting mass swaying and grooving with the more upbeat ones there was something for everybody. I went into the gig expecting something stunning, there was no way I could have expected just how great it ended up being

Stray thoughts:

  • If you haven’t listened to My Woman yet I feel like this whole blog has been for nothing
  • Kudos to the band for performing the whole show in suits. I don’t know how they didn’t die up there, shit was crazy hot
  • Tempted to write a thinkpiece looking into why so many people thought it was an appropriate show to heckle at (but I won’t)
  • Australian opening act Jack Ladder was pretty cool
  • Seriously go listen to My Woman right the fuck now already
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2 thoughts on “Angel Olsen and the benefits of high expectations

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