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Lianne La Havas at the Varsity Theater

1 Apr

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Lianne La Havas charmed the hell out of the Varsity Theater on Sunday night, seducing anyone in the packed room who wasn’t already a devotee. After making a stop in the studios of 89.3 the Current last winter as part of a TV media tour, the English singer made her first proper stop in the Twin Cities in style. Outfitted with black vinyl Mickey Mouse necklace, gold six-inch platforms and belt around her asymmetrical white cocktail dress reading “WHEN DOVES CRY,” which was fitting, because Prince was watching from up in the balcony.

His Purpleness would have seen a performer comfortable in her own skin, with an authentic exuberance and a burgeoning, fanatic fan base. With her lilting guitar and blend of soul, folk and Caribbean rhythms, La Havas had a shimmy in her shoulders and a push in her voice that more than filled the room. Backed by a solid band with drums, keys and guitar and backup singer, the group had the chops to keep the room alive, from the quieter to tunes to the big numbers. From La Havas exhorting the crowd on to join in the claps and stomps of the title track to her debut record Is Your Love Big Enough?, to the conflicted desires of “Tease Me,” a song she said she wouldn’t feel comfortable playing for her parents and “Lost and Found,” a song that was sensual and defiant, she worked the crowd like the with a wistful, subtle key changes, and soaring runs.

“You saved my soul!” one concert-goer shouted towards the end of her set and although La Havas may not be icon-ready yet, she definitely is worthy of the moment. Commenting on the crowd at the end of the night, she beamed out, “Lots of “I love yous.” Lots of love in Minneapolis. I love love…I’m Lianne La Havas, and I love my job. Because of you.”

Check out Staciaann’s photoset on Vita.mn (link coming soon!)

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