The O2 Academy Oxford was the perfect setting on Wednesday night to see my favourite singer of all time: Lissie. A tiny venue which is essentially a square room with a stage, it was nothing spectacular but reflected everything Lissie is about – no nonsense, live music and extraordinary talent. Dressed in jeans, a white top and brogues, and with no make-up, Lissie took to the stage and rocked out for an amazing hour and a half set. The gig was simple, intimate and sweaty, and the focus was on the music which, in my opinion, is how a concert should be.
Kicking off the night was Norma Jean Martine, an up and coming singer from New York, who opened the concert with her guitarist and drummer and got the crowd buzzing. Her powerful vocals reminded me of a mixture between Pink, Adele and Paloma Faith and her lyrics were beautiful. She is an extremely talented girl performing vocals, keyboard and guitar during her short set and as a songwriter has been creating songs for years including Athlete’s ‘Wires’ back in 2005. She currently only has one single out, ‘No Gold’, which I have since been playing on repeat, but is working on making an EP soon so she can tour the festival circuit next summer. She is definitely one to watch!
Lissie then took to the stage after a long interval and opened her set with the mellow song ‘Wedding Bells’. This was the calm before the storm as she built up to playing some incredible fast-paced tracks both from her first album Catching A Tiger and from her latest album Back To Forever. Although there were no lavish costumes or stage decorations, you could not help but be mesmerized by the whole performance. Lissie’s energy and passion for her music was breath-taking and as soon as she began to sing her powerful, incredible voice filled the room. Her whole band was amazing especially the bass guitarist who was playing the drums with his feet at the same time which was exciting to see.
The highlights of the night included Lissie performing ‘Shameless’, a song in which she expresses her hatred of people who will do anything to become famous and that she would rather people didn’t know who she was than be shameless. This ethos is something that should be taken on board by major stars such as Rihanna and Miley Cyrus as they have so many young girls looking up to them. Another highlight of the night was when Lissie, on mopping her brow, exclaimed “How does Beyoncé do it?!”.
Lissie also performed an incredible cover of Danzig’s ‘Mother’ which is one of the cover songs on her new EP Cryin’ To You and which she explained is one of her favourite songs. She completely did the song justice and the song suited her vocals and rock music to a tee. During the whole gig Lissie’s raw, powerful vocals echoed around the room and created a lively atmosphere while the bass from the drums vibrated through the audience allowing everyone to really get caught up in the music.
At the end of the gig, one lucky person from the audience was chosen to go up on stage to take a shot of some limited edition Lissie Metl Mezcal Tequila. You could sign up to her mailing list throughout the concert to win this amazing prize, and was a clever way for Lissie to promote her own brand of tequila!
Her gig was the best one I have been to and I don’t think there was anyone there who did not enjoy the night with Lissie’s folk rock music and heartfelt lyrics. The venue, décor and stage were very basic but the music was astounding and Lissie deserves much more recognition as she is an amazing artist!