Sharon Van Etten @ Royale
Last month I had the pleasure of attending this concert at the Royale night club in Boston. It was the second time in five months that I’d witnessed a Sharon Van Etten show. Back on October 9th, 2018 she opened for The National at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado (which turned out to be the coldest and wettest outdoor event I’ve ever been too; not to take away from the great performances). SVE’s music career is quickly gaining momentum and I’m guessing she’ll be playing bigger venues and more summer festivals in the near future. Her captivating style has been noted to be somewhere between folk and indie rock, and I would characterize her voice to fit appropriately between the two genres; partly dreamy, and partly raspy. She plays both the guitar and piano, and commands the stage with confidence.
I leave the reviews to those more qualified to write them, but I’ll just say that I find Van Etten’s songs to be captivating and authentic. She’s composed many of her lyrics and music from life experiences, and she performs each number with a fitting measure of melancholy and/or enthusiasm. There’s nothing cryptic about her storytelling; it’s pleasantly poetic yet honest at heart. Her setlist this particular evening consisted of sixteen notable songs from past and present albums, and SVE’s repertoire is definitely on the rise.
Finally, this was my first visit to Royale in Boston. A decade or more ago the same location was know as The Roxy. I don’t pretend to know how much it’s changed since then, but I can say that it’s a perfect blend of ornate old theater and contemporary music venue. I arrived just as the doors opened and staked my claim to an ideal spot in one of the balconies. The view from above the majority of general attendees was beautifully unobstructed and approximal to the stage. (Pretty sure Sharon was looking at me the whole show, ha ha.) The acoustics in the place are superb. Moral of the story: I should probably get out more often.