Agnes Obel – Vicar Street – Gig Review – 01-12-16
Danish singer Agnes Obel has recently released her third studio album ‘Citizen of Glass’. It is a complex and subtle album, with unusual arrangements and a delicate touch. Her popularity has steadily grown and last night she played to a packed (if seated) Vicar Street. She arrived on stage at 9pm without much fuss. The band on the night were a four piece. Agnes stayed centre stage throughout, playing piano and keyboard. The other three members of the band, all female, played cello, ukulele, clarinet and drums, along with other unusual instruments and electronic effects.
She opened the set with Red Virgin Soil, one of the highlights of ‘Citizen of Glass’. The new album featured heavily in the fourteen song set. There were also a number of older tracks, such as Philharmonics which was written in her tiny German studio, which was right beside a massive concert venue, hence the name!
The new album is about transparency, she revealed during the evening. To contrast this, she has a number of songs about secrets. The song Mary is about a secret she was told by a friend (not called Mary!)
“In my house the silence rang so loud
Under doorways, through the hallway down
Waiting for the secret to grow out
Oh what we do when no one is around” – Mary
This was the last night of their tour and as such, was quite special for the band. They finished the set with title track Citizen of Glass and then Stretch Your Eyes. We were told that this was the last song of the evening, but on her return for the encore she admitted it was a lie! The encore started with a solo piano version of Smoke & Mirrors. The hugely popular Riverside was the second song with the full band once more and On Powdered Ground finished the night.
Agnes is a performer who really hasn’t altered her sound or ‘sold out’ in any sense to gain popularity. She kept on a consistent trajectory and waited for her audience to find her. Judging on this performance, that audience will continue to grow.
Support: Support on the night was from the wonderfully named LA Salami. The London born musician has been singled out by Zane Lowe of BBC Radio as one to watch. His short set was just him and an acoustic guitar, with a number of gentle folks songs.
Photos by Mud
Red Virgin Soil
It’s Happening Again
Fuel to Fire
Run Cried the Crawling
Citizen of Glass
Stretch Your Eyes
Smoke & Mirrors
On Powdered Ground