Valerie June At the Great Hall – A Brief Review

February 12, 2017 at 5:12 pm (Uncategorized)

Boy it was cold Thursday night. It’s not the kind of night you want to be standing outside the venue just so you can get in first to secure a prime spot. Especially since the Great Hall guarantees good sight lines not matter where you stand.

We arrived at the show around 10:00 missing opening band Oh Pep! Once upon a time, when I went to shows, I would be among those first arrivals, catching every support band and sometimes being rewarded with bragging rights years later (my first date with my wife saw the Flaming Lips open for the Butthole Surfers). Times, change. I listened to a couple of their songs before the show, but decided that I would chance missing out. Time will tell.

According to all sources, the show was sold out, but it certainly felt roomier than many sold out shows I’ve attended. (I remember seeing Sonic Youth there and they oversold the show – that was capacity!) S’OK, more room to dance.

Valerie June came onstage about 10:15 in what can only be described as a space-age disco suit, all sparkles. And sparkle she did. June played a selection from her brilliant breakout album Pushin Against a Stone as well as songs from her about to be released The Order of Time. During the forty-five minute set, June switched instruments as she charmed the crowd with philosophy, jokes, a few somewhat rambling stories, and great, great music.  If you’ve never seen or heard Valerie June, Pushin is the place to start. There’s a rawness, an honesty about that record that carries into the live show. Coupled with her distinctive voice (not to mention the Medusa like dreads) and it’s an unforgettable show.

She returned with her band to play a three-song encore. And off we went into the cold.



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