Releasing one of my favorite albums of 2012,British singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas earned a top spot on my must-see acts list for 2013. Is Your Love Big Enough? was simply poignant, light and fresh with Lianne’s voice gliding from song to song like an airy, acoustic jazz-tinged waltz. Seeing her briefly in February at the Grammy Foundation “Pay It Forward” show, I stood ready to see her full set as she lit up the stage for the five minutes she graced it. Joining forces with fellow countryman Jamie N Commons, they hit El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles for a two-show stint just a day after El Rey hosted Justin Timberlake’s album release party for his monster album, “The 20/20 Experience”.
Performing to a sold-out crowd on the second day, I arrived as opener Jamie N. Commons graced the stage, doing an assortment of songs from his Rumble and Sway EP, interestingly produced by hip-hop rising go-to Alex Da Kid. Rugged, raw blues-influenced roots and classic rock greeted my ears. Doing a 45 minute set including “Wash Me in the Water”, he graciously signed autographs and snapped pics by the merch booth soon afterwards. Lianne soon followed around 10:15 PM, walking on stage to a Baduizm intro as the crowd burst into applause. Armed with her electric guitars and a small band that complemented her well, she smiled and charmingly won us over with her amusing quips in between songs and audience participation during songs like the stomp and rhythmic clap ( I was on this side of the room and gladly obliged) enhanced “Is Your Love Big Enough?” and “Elusive”. 80 minutes flew by and proved bells and whistles are not needed when you have a personality and voice one can never “forget”.
Visit Lianne’s website for more info on her remaining U.S. and Canada tour dates!