Live Review: Keren Ann at Joe’s Pub
The wispy chanteuse brought her dreamy nostalgic sound to an intimate sold-out house in New York City.
Last night Keren Ann played the first of three New York shows in support of her upcoming album “Keren Ann 101,” which will be released in the U.S. on March 22.
Invoking a certain 1960s Parisian look, Keren Ann took the stage dressed in all black, sporting a fresh bob hairstyle. Backed with a trumpet, drums, and guitar, Ann stood smiling and gently cradling a worn vintage Martin acoustic before easing into the opener “All The Beautiful Girls.”
Despite just getting off of a plane from Paris, Ann was in fine form looking relaxed yet confident and sounding enchanting as ever as she eased in to the elegalic “Chelsea Burns” off of her fourth album “Nolita.” Looking Dylanesque with an old acoustic and harmonica, Ann played sparse chords while singing candlelight whispers.
Ann melted into “The Harder Ships of the World,” off of her self-titled fifth album. While the song is meant to be a melancholy experience reflecting on the often painful journey of love, Ann wistfully sang the heartfelt lyrics but did so with a presence and emotional connection that radiated beauty.
The “love lost” continued theme with the airy “In Your Back.” The night livened up with “It Ain’t No Crime.” The drums pulsed with a slow marching beat while the trumpet screeched, Ann’s reverb-laden vocals filled out the song. “Lay Your Head Down” turned into a lively jazz number, replete with brushed drums and blaring horns.
The crowd was treated to “Blood on my Hands,” “Sugar Mama,” and “My Name is Trouble,” all new tracks from her upcoming album. Ann was admittedly nervous debuting the new tracks live in New York, but she delivered each with a renewed vigor so tangible you could taste her energy.
During her encore, Ann paid tribute to John Lennon with an acoustic rendition of “All You Need Is Love.” The night ended with the dreamy enigmatic “Where No Endings End.”
It has been quite a while since we’ve heard from Ann—it feels good to have her back again.
Keren Ann plays again tonight at Joe’s Pub and Friday at The Bell House in Brooklyn. She will also play one show at Tin Angel in Philadelphia on Saturday.