Terminal 5 was the place to be on the windy Saturday night of September 23rd. Not gonna lie, when my friend told me he scored tickets to see Lianne La Havas I might have overreacted a tad. I’m trying to put it into words but nothing would better serve my emotions justice than…
Since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Is your Love Big Enough, La Havas hasn’t released new music, mostly because of touring. Both fans and critics have been waiting patiently for new work, especially a new album. Finally, on July 31, 2015 Blood was released. Besides, truly embodying La Havas’ talents, this album also succeeds in leaving listeners unexpected, by showcasing different techniques we haven’t seen from her until then. All in all, it was a great album; it doesn’t match the same captivating songs and overall magnitude of Is Your Love Big Enough? imo, but still a well put-together project.
This leads us to her performance at Terminal 5. Besides, La Havas, the opening acts killed it just as much as the audience expected her to. First up is, Keenan O’meara. He started his set by wowing the crowd with his guitar picking skills, a very flashy Mumford and Sons, folk type of style. Once O’meara stepped up to the mic his voice flowed heavenly with his guitar, hitting falsetto notes that received numerous applause from the audience. Next up was Nick Hakim. Hakim had more of an indie sound. His band was incredible. Everybody from the amazing drummer to the versatile keyboardist was on point. His vocals were distinct and Prince-like in some ways, while the sounds they produced were mesmerizing, making the audience fall in love with yet another performer. I could only assume that the audience, like myself, went home and looked up these young, promising artists.
After several minutes of waiting, everybody was itching to get a glimpse of Lianne La Havas. Once her band took the stage, excitement rose. Once her song, Green and Gold started playing, it continued to rise. Once she finally step foot on stage, looking flawless if I may add, the place erupted. Along with most songs off the recent album, La Havas played songs from Is Your Love Big Enough?, which usually got the biggest response (due to its longevity). One song that expectedly got a big response and had everyone singing and grooving was the album-titled song Is Your Love Big Enough? I believe slowed-down ballads, however is her niche. One of my favorite moments that night was when she sang Wonderful. The intimacy and emotions in the record were brought forth in this performance, making it feel like La Havas was singing directly to you. And who knows?, maybe she was singing to me. She might of glanced once or twice over on my section, but I ain’t gonna touch on that now. Shortly after, she mistakenly said “Out with the new and in with the old…Is that how the saying goes?…idk *chuckles*”. Her overt cuteness was followed by a beautiful performance of No Room for Doubt that had everyone in the audience mouthing off the words with her, including myself. Excuse the horrid vocals… I was having a moment.
Another great moment from La Havas’ set was the use of a microphone that altered her voice with effects, as shown in the picture above. These vocal alterations are some of the different techniques she approached in her album Blood. I was wondering how she would bring some of those effects on stage. With the microphone, she brought to reality the mystical harmonies found at the beginning of her lead single Unstoppable. On the flip side, La Havas channels the distorted vocals in the hardrock-centered chorus of Never Get Enough, giving us a raw and heavy performance. Watching these innovations to her performance had me looking at her in the crowd like…
The opening act Keenan O’meara did great embodying an acoustic solo performance. Nick Hakim was great by vibing the band. Lianne La Havas, on the other hand, perfectly executed on both levels of performance, killing it on solo guitar and flowing well with the band. Surprisingly for me, as well as friends of mine, she sounded better live; which is is hard to believe considering that she has released great music recorded in the studio. Her guitar playing was impeccable and complimented her voice(which did not miss a note the entire night). Her voice live sounded so powerful and full of life, as she improvised many difficult-hitting notes. This led me to believe that Lianna La Havas is a true performer born to do just that. As she left the stage, the audience roared for an encore, as expected, compelling a surprised La Havas to get back on stage and give an exciting performance of Forget.
Check out the demand and her reaction below. WARNING: you might want to turn your volume down just a tad, it got a little crazy at Terminal 5.