Arts & Entertainment, Features, Reviews

REVIEW: Lizzy McAlpine performs simplistic, spectacular show

Lizzy McAlpine
Lizzy McAlpine performing at The Sinclair in Cambridge on Sept. 21. Writer Talia Lissauer recounts the show in her article. TALIA LISSAUER/DFP STAFF

Standing in front of a sold out crowd at The Sinclair on her 23rd birthday with a guitar and two band mates, singer-songwriter Lizzy McAlpine put on an outstanding performance highlighting her sublime vocals.

The rising star sold out almost the entire “Five Seconds Flat” tour, her first headlining tour, within minutes and added additional shows to help meet the demand. Since her Spotify debut in 2019, McAlpine has gained almost 4 million monthly listeners.

The star of McAlpine’s show was not crazy dance moves or a fancy production — it was her voice. Every single song sounded just like it does on the recording, but the rawness of a live performance and the confidence she exhibited added another layer of excellence. Every single song was even better live and left my jaw on the ground.

Not only was her voice beautiful, McAlpine was relatable and funny throughout her performance. She giggled when a fan screamed “happy birthday” and swore when she messed up a lyric, and she smiled when the fans quickly got her back on track.

The concert was incredibly intimate, both literally and figuratively as people were crammed together in the packed venue, but also in the way that McAlpine interacted with the audience. It felt like she was talking and singing to every one of us. Towards the end, she winked or put up air quotes whenever she mentioned how many songs were left.

The setlist included a mix of McAlpine classics, songs from the most recent album and two unreleased songs.

The performance of “Doomsday” — an already heart wrenching song with gorgeous imagery in the lyrics that quickly became an all time favorite of mine — was everything I hoped for. McAlpine managed to hold every note she normally does and more, and the drums added a beautiful touch that emphasized her voice. In the middle of the song, I realized I had just been staring in awe for several minutes.

The first unreleased song, about her sister, was a lyrical masterpiece bringing up a beautiful level of emotions, resembling some of her earlier songs. The second was more upbeat and resembled her more recent work.

Hearing the songs “Apple Pie” and “Pancakes for Dinner” — which have about 22 and 34 million streams on spotify respectively — was an emotional rollercoaster. During both of these songs, the smile never left my face and tears of joy filled my eyes. I was not the only one ecstatic when she began playing them as cheers erupted from the audience louder than any other song.

“Orange Show Speedway” was an excellent closing song as the live version was energetic enough to have the entire audience involved, but simultaneously showed the connection the fans have to the song itself.

McAlpine was an excellent performer. The joy she experiences in performing radiated into the crowd. Her smile while singing beamed across the stage and it was clear she loves performing her work.

Her band was also magnificent. They did a great job balancing their talent with McAlpine’s, and she also gave them the opportunity to highlight their skills.

A good concert doesn’t need fancy choreography or excessive production. Instead, a simple performance with an angelic voice and lyrics, like McAlpine’s, can do the trick.

More Articles

Comments are closed.