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Concert Sun May 18 2014
Over the years, Brooklyn based Mirah has taken her music on an interesting journey. She has worked with a large assortment of musicians, from Phil Elvrum of The Microphones to Thao Nguyen. Mirah has progressed her music from her early and wonderfully lo-fi sound to a more polished and mature state. Mirah, along with Loamlands and Led to Sea, came to Space this past Wednesday in support of her latest album Changing Light.
The first musician of the night was Led to Sea, consisting of the talented Alex Guy and her violin. The solo performance was absolutely astounding. There is something genuinely delightful about Guy's stage presence, whether elegantly bowing or gently plucking her violin. Her songs are infinitely absorbing, stemming from assessments of sometimes being a bad girlfriend and crashing bike into a BMW. Guy played a few new songs from a forthcoming album, which she teased throughout the night. She harmonized with her looped voice and instrument; a unison so well assembled that it sent verifiable chills across the room. Her set was short and sweet, a mere glimpse of her talent.
Loamlands changed the pace quite considerably as they took the stage. Despite going from the more indie classical nature of Led to Sea over to the heavily southern rock leaning Americana of Loamlands, it wasn't a jarring switch. Led by Kym Register and Will Hackney, Loamlands' incredible songs blasted through the speakers without wasted moment. Nearly every song grew in energy, getting the already hyped up crowd even more so. It wasn't until the near end of their set when Resister and Hackney finally brought their liveliness down a bit, switching it out for intense serenity while playing the heavenly "Hear Me Now". The unusually rowdy crowd quieted down, leading every bit of their attention to the performance. There was total stillness during song, which led to a well-deserved applause.
Mirah came to the stage with a full band in tow, which including Alex Guy from earlier in the evening. Mirah let the crowd know that she was battling a cold. Even with the looming declaration of being a little sick, Mirah gave it her all during her set. She moved around gleefully, tapping along on the drum kit behind her for a few songs. Her voice was a little lower, holding back on her vocals ever so slightly. It actually added to her delivery, marking her more mature songs and illuminating their weight. Most of the setlist was mined from her latest album, Changing Light, which had just been released a day prior.
One could tell that she wanted to give more, to belt out certain songs beyond what she was capable of that night. There was at times a look of frustration in her face that she couldn't give it her all. But with the increasingly appreciative crowd, it became clear that she was giving them more than they ever expected. It was never more apparent than during the encore as she walked through the crowd performing "The Garden". She stretched her voice to its limits, uttering the lyrics "I just want to sing", with unbridled passion. Her back up vocalists, who aided her throughout the night, helped her lift the song far higher than she could alone. Shouts for more rang out, putting away any misgivings of her voice not being up to par. Mirah's performance was absolutely breathtaking.