Earlier this year, I hit a little bit of a rough patch. It was one of those times when life just didn’t seem to go my way. My loving dog of 13 years, Samson, passed away while I was out of state, I was having some personal issues I was dealing with, and the icing on the proverbial cake was that a show I had planned on attending months in advance was rescheduled such that I couldn’t attend.
The show that I missed was Laura Mvula at the Bootleg Theater in April. If you’ve been following my blog this year, you probably saw my first post about her music back in January. I followed that post up with additional posts in February and March because I was so excited by her sophisticated sound. As fate would have it, Laura Mvula ended up scheduling another show in Los Angeles, which was a breathtaking performance at the El Rey Theatre in September. It appeared as if the music gods were throwing me a bone.
I had purchased tickets for Iron & Wine back in June, and at that time there was no opening act listed. It was almost an afterthought, since I had been wanting to see Iron & Wine live for years. About a week or two before the Halloween Eve concert, Laura Mvula posted on Facebook that she would be opening for Iron & Wine on a series of west coast dates. Needless to say, I was enthralled. At this point, I thought the music gods were serving me a t-bone.
I barely got there in time for the first song of her set. Watching her perform in the beautiful and historic Orpheum Theatre was truly a musical blessing. The fashionably late arriving Los Angeles crowd steadily filed in to their seats during her set, and I could only think to myself that they were fools to miss out on her glorious music. Their loss.
She bantered with the crowd and mentioned that her favorite song was “Let Me Fall” (which, ironically, wasn’t on her debut album) and her second favorite song was “Flying Without You”. She performed a subdued version of “She” which sent shivers down my spine. After she sang the title track off her debut album, “Sing To The Moon”, and having heard that she had just recently lost out on the prestigious Mercury Prize, I yelled out from my seat, “You deserved the Mercury!” She giggled and said, “That’s funny.” Really though … she should have won that award.
Though her set was obviously shorter than her concert at the El Rey, it was still filled with the deep musicality and unabashed emotion that makes her music so appealing to me. I eagerly anticipate her sophomore album, and the next time she’s back in the United States to perform for her fans.
Setlist (written down by me during her performance):
- “Like the Morning Dew”
- “Let Me Fall”
- “Flying Without You”
- “Sing to the Moon”
- “Father father”
- “Green Garden”
- “That’s Alright”
Unfortunately, the Flickr slideshow below is not currently available on mobile devices. If you are on a mobile device, please click THIS LINK to get redirected to the set of photos. To see the amazing pictures I took of her at the El Rey, please click here to see that blog entry (trust me, some of the pictures taken were amazing).