Lissie at Bowery Ballroom

The last thing I thought I would be doing last Wednesday night was watching Lissie at Bowery Ballroom. Luckily, courtesy of Global Citizen, I won tickets to see her perform!

If that name sounds familiar it’s because a few weeks back I attended a free charity festival put on by the same organization. It’s an annual event that takes place in Central Park featuring headlining acts like Rihanna, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé, Jay Z, No Doubt and more! Feel free to check out how last month’s festival went here.

As mentioned in my Global Citizen Festival recap, concertgoers take part in various forms of online activism in order to qualify for tickets to the show. During the offseason in between festivals, attendees can continue to participate and enter to win tickets to shows around the country.

On a whim, I entered for a chance to see Lissie, an artist who I admittedly lost track of over the years. I fell in love with a fair amount of her songs from her 2013 second album, ‘Back to Forever.’  Still, she didn’t reappear on my radar until she released follow-up records, ‘My Wild West,’ as well as a live album, ‘Live at Union Chapel,’ this year.

Overall the night was a pleasant break in an otherwise mostly mundane day. Scroll on down to learn more about Lissie at Bowery Ballroom and her opener! 



The Opener

The night began with opener, Alexa Wilding and I probably couldn’t have found a better artist to compliment Lissie. Being an opener is tough and if you can engage the crowd you’ve won half the battle. Alexa did a wonderful job of warming the crowd up, pulling us in with her dark and dreamy lyrics and keeping the conversation light. My personal favorite of the songs she performed was “Black Diamond Day.”

solo tour

Lissie typically tours with a full band however this tour was solo. She played all of her songs acoustic with zero frills and no stage setup whatsoever. Acoustic shows are not for everyone. A lot of people grow to love a song with the full instrumental component and when you take that all away it can really change the sound. 

I’m somewhere in the middle on this stance. Sometimes I want to hear the song the way I’ve been listening to it. So, if I play Spotify and the tune comes on as the radio edit I’ll most likely want to hear it the same way live. However, there are exceptions to this rule. I can honestly say that I preferred the stripped back versions of each and every song Lissie sang.

If the full band was present I probably would have still enjoyed the show but observing it this way lead me to be much more impressed by her. Without the band, I could fully appreciate her talent and hear her voice more clearly. 

Lissie has a raspy voice with this flare that kind of reminds me of Stevie Nicks. It’s not exactly the same. Still, I think it’s fair to say that the comparison alone lets you know that you’re in for a treat!


A Sampling of Lissie at Bowery Ballroom.


Down to Earth

The only thing better than experiencing a talented singer live is discovering they have a great personality! Lissie was incredibly down to earth. She came across as really honest, approachable, and sincere.

When I listen to an artist I tend to come up with a persona I associate with them. Looking back on things I couldn’t tell you what I expected Lissie to be like but she was a heck of a lot more funny and interesting than I imagined.

Throughout her performance, she commented on how she “double downed on the sparkle” in reference to her outfit, kept guzzling water and admitted she didn’t know how to play certain songs live. The latter was a bit shocking. Although realistically it would be hard to remember every single song, I’ve never heard a musician admit they didn’t know how to play something.

Lissie also shared that she’s working on building a farm and currently has 50 acres. She plans on getting bees and couldn’t wait to get back to the midwest.

She also gave an incredibly appropriate mini speech on feminism before her song “Daughters.” The political climate in America is a mess right now and hearing her thoughts shed a new light on an already good song. Lastly, Lissie also skipped the encore facade and just played straight through to the end of her set. Cool right? 


indie artists

During the middle of her Bowery Ballroom show, Lissie declared that she was now an independent artist. It’s not a splashy big statement but it is something that I want to mention. 

In this age of streaming services, it’s even more difficult for musicians to make a sustainable living. A lot of the big names can make up the difference through touring large stadiums. Smaller artists don’t have that luxury. If there is an indie artist you

If there is an indie artist you love then buy the album, pay for concert tickets, and splurge on merchandise! Every penny counts when you factor in touring, recording and promotional costs. It’s only fair that you give a little back if you expect to get a lot of music in return.


Kid Cudi & Bravery

A lot of Lissie’s fans came to know her through a cover she performed of Kid Cudi’s massive hit “Pursuit of Happiness.” I featured him last week as an artist to watch with an album in the pipeline. You may have also heard that he recently released a statement announcing that he was checking himself into rehab. 

As a longtime fan of Kid Cudi’s, I can say that I’m not exactly surprised but I do wish him the best and hope that he recovers soon. I won’t go into the lifelong issues he’s been open about in the past. However, I will say that I commend anyone who is open and honest about the state of their mental health.

It takes a brave person to be vulnerable and admit to the world that you struggle with depression, anxiety and suicidal urges. Lissie paid homage to him, said that he was a brilliant nice guy and then closed the show playing his cover.





What do you think of Lissie at Bowery Ballroom? Share your thoughts below and get ready for upcoming highlights from Troye Sivan and Dua LipaKiiara and Metric!

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