American folk pop sensation Lissie has been on my radar since lending her sublime vocals to "The Longest Road" - a unusually sparse and organic dance anthem I featured on the blog way back in 2008. Since then the talented singer has steadily built her profile with a gorgeous EP and critically acclaimed album that charted well throughout Europe and made my 2010 'best of' countdown. Given her burgeoning popularity, I was kind of surprised to hear she was touring Australia as Megan Washington's support act but I reasoned that two clinically depressed divas for the price of one was kind of awesome and went along to last night's concert with high expectations. And I was completely under Lissie's spell from the moment she appeared on stage dressed like a 45 year old suburban lesbian.
The low maintenance American opened the show with a beautiful rendition of "Wedding Bells" that gave me goosebumps. Her voice is so pure and effortless, it can't help but move you. Next up was album track "Record Collector", followed by her top 5 Norwegian smash "When I'm Alone". Words can't describe how much this song means to me. It's been a friend to me since mid-last year and should have been a worldwide hit. The track sounds even better live and is ripe for a re-release. I worried that it would all be downhill from there but then she broke into "Bully" and those fears disappeared. What a perfect piece of dusty Americana. Lissie then dragged indie favourite Washington on stage for a duet version of "Everywhere I Go". It sounded amazing but unfortunately highlighted who the real (vocal) talent is and she doesn't share a name with an American city.
After saying goodbye to Megan and talking about how much she loves touring Australia, Lissie served up two album cuts - the haunting "In Sleep" and uplifting "Little Lovin'". I assumed she would close the show with her catchy European single "Cuckoo" but she surprised fans by singing Kid Cudi's "Pursuit Of Happiness" instead. She explained that they both come from the same part of America and made the song her own with a fiery cover that reminded me of a female Bruce Springsteen circa "Nebraska". Lissie's version is on the tour edition of "Catching A Tiger" - just in case you need another excuse to buy it! The show couldn't have been more low key. There were no bells and whistles. Just a woman with raw talent, a guitar and a couple of weathered looking bandmates. I can't wait to see her again.