Review: Lissie @ The Stoller Hall, Manchester

Beautiful, powerful, and soulful.

American singer-songwriter Lissie performed at Manchester’s Stoller Hall this week to share the latest songs from her Piano Retrospective album.

Exclusively recorded using just her voice, a piano and some backing harmonies, the record offers a paired back ensemble of old and new tracks.

Later Youth, also known as Jo Dudderidge, was the support act who performed some of his sombre piano songs. His cover of John Lennon’s Jealous Guy was well received with a little whistling from the audience. He also acted as Lissie’s pianist and provided backing vocals.

Effortlessly fusing country, folk, indie and soft-rock, Lissie’s style is very much her own. She bounded onto the stage with her distinctive ruffled blonde hair and hippy style, wearing a billowing khaki tie-dye dress and bare feet.

The 36-year-old then opened up her set with an uplifting rendition of Don’t You Give Up On Me.

Alongside her powerful vocals with a smoky American twang, her presence on stage was both energetic and subdued. She came across as sincere and comfortable in her own skin, which made her a joy to watch and listen to.

She reminisced on a previous concert in Manchester, saying: “I don’t know if any of you were at that concert but my train to Manchester was delayed by three hours.

“But when I showed up everyone was still here. I think that pretty much bonded me with Manchester for life.”

The songstress selected a few songs from each of her albums and spoke about her astonishing decade long music career.

Lissie grew up in Rock Island, Illinois and suggested that the music and musical history from that part of America was considerably overlooked. She now lives on a farm in Iowa.

She performed her single When I’m Alone, which she attributes as the start of her success on the UK music scene after it received the iTunes Track of the Year award.

The singer also performed some covers of her favourite female artists including Cowboy Take Me Away by Dixie Chicks and Dreams by Fleetwood Mac.

From the sad to the uplifting, Lissie’s lyrics and music offers a reflection on life’s experiences and emotions.

The intimate venue was perfect for her no-gimmicks performance, with just the power of her voice and a grand piano for attendees to enjoy. The Stoller Hall is famous for its impressive acoustics and award-winning architecture right in the heart of Manchester – and Lissie was right at home.

With seven albums to her name, there was an overwhelming feeling that Lissie could have played more songs. However, she received a standing ovation and if you get the chance to see her perform in future then it’s thoroughly recommended that you do.

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