'A beautiful triumph from an artist who can do no wrong'
Cai Trefor

13:17 30th April 2015

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In 2014, Sharon Van Etten stunned the music press with her best album to date, Are We There. It remained high up many end-of-year lists, and proved that she had what it takes to write and self-produce a truly great record.

The album reflects a liberal approach to recording that introduces friends outside of the touring band as contributors. Adam Granduciel of The War On Drugs is perhaps among the best known. However, on tour the band are a gang dedicated to doing her songs justice live.

Among the decadent surrounds of the meticulously preserved 1900s theatre, and dressed in stylish dark attire, the group steals the attention with their charming, elegant presence. Folk-y opener ‘Afraid Of Nothing’ brings the crowd to an immediate standstill and mouths move slightly ajar as they gasp in disbelief at the raw power of Van Etten’s voice.

From this point on, she and the band can do no wrong.

The sultry cool of single ‘Taking Chances’ is greeted with a rapturous response, whilst even previously unheard cut ‘I Don’t Want To Let You Down’ is lapped up. However, the real goosebump moment doesn’t arrive until she belts out ‘Your Love Is Killing Me’. It feels like she has moved up a gear here as she realises she's creeping toward the end of a victorious set.

This song would be a great set closer but to the delight of everyone in the room she returns to perform fan favourite ‘I Know’ that features just her and her piano. The band return on stage with ’Serpents’ and closer with ‘Every Time The Sun Comes Up’ which reflects the catchiest aspect of Van Etten's songwriting. It's a mellow hazy finish to a beautiful gig.

Sharon Van Etten played:
Afraid of Nothing
Taking Chances
Give Out
Save Yourself
Break Me
Nothing Will Change
Magic Chords
I Don't Want To Let You Down
All Over Again
Your Love Is Killing Me
I Know
Every Time The Sun Comes Up

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Photo: Alexia Arrizabalaga