With some train delays I got to the Paradiso a few minutes late and found out that the small upstairs room was sold out. People were turning up at random at the steps leading up to the entrance who had to be disappointed. Once inside I found out that Angel Olsen had already started. So perhaps I missed one or two songs. It did not take away anything from what I was presented with. On stage was a foursome. Drummer Josh Jaeger, bassist Emily Elhaj, lead guitarist Stuart Bronaugh and Angel Olsen herself on rhythm guitar. No background vocals. On the last gig of this European tour, it was not as if the band build an extra party. Playing the music of Angel Olsen is a serious business.
|Angel Olsen and band, Photo: Wo.|
The songs did all the work.The mix between country/folk, the turns and twist in her singing are dead giveaways here, and The Velvet Underground guitar rhythms showed how close these two seeming extremes really are. It is the way the guitar is stroked that makes the difference. Angel Olsen doesn't mind to throw in a few completely dissonant notes or chords into a lovely song on stage. The estrangement only gets bigger between the sweetness of her voice, the way of singing, the struggles in the lyrics and the music itself. From a great unit to things falling apart within seconds. Her singing is special as she has a few different techniques that makes the emotions in the songs change the whole time when she wants to. Angry, longing, aching, indifferent or detached, it is all there.
Angel Olsen certainly is a talent, the show in Amsterdam very convincing. It is going to be very interesting to see how her career will develop. Perhaps a bit strange, but I went home with 'Leader of the pack' in my head. Why? I found out that it was because of the melody of the first line of 'High-five'.