Thursday night, the crowd at Bowery Ballroom was transported into a different time when the amazing Eleanor Friedberger (of The Fiery Furnaces) headlined a night of gritty folk-infused alt-rock.
I was lucky enough to catch the tail end of alt rockers Icewater’s set. After a stressful day at my day job, the minute they started playing I instantly mellowed out and forgot about everything except the magic that was happening on stage.
You wouldn’t know it by her Snow White demeanor, but Adrianne Lenker can rip on a guitar and passionately sing about sex and rooms smelling of piss and beer. Adrianne and the rest of her band mates in Big Thief easily became my new favorite band. Their single, “Masterpiece,” is gritty and real and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for their future.
Eleanor is a free spirit who lives in her own world on her own time. She sauntered out on stage, half sulking in the shadows, backed by the guys in Icewater, and played a snippet of “I Won’t Fall Apart on You Tonight.” “That was our sound check!” Eleanor says as the lights dim and she gets ready to really start the show.
Her lyricism is something out of the classic folk-rock era. She breathes life into each word finding meaning in everything that she sings, choking on emotion with each syllable. As she sang the line, “Your beauty stands/ Alone/ Amongst all known things,” you could tell that she wrote it about someone she has an emotional connection with. Though, one audience member tried to compliment her, shouting out, “That was a song about you Eleanor!” Eleanor, either humbled or torn up about whoever the song was about, scoffed back, “That was not about me.”
Eleanor played her newest album, New View, in it’s entirety sprinkling in songs from Personal Record and Last Summer including “Roosevelt Island” and “My Mistakes.” She encored with her sound check song, “I Won’t Fall Apart on You Tonight,” and left the crowd in heightened elation, leaving them wanting more.
Article: Merissa Blitz