Live review: Lera Lynn, Visulite Theatre (12/12/2015)

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Lera Lynn
Visulite Theater
Dec. 12, 2015

Lera Lynn brought a much more mellow vibe to the city Saturday night when she and her three-piece band stepped up to the mic. In her last tour appearance before a month-long holiday break, Lynn managed to completely captivate and transport show-goers at the Visulite to another world, making everyone feel as if they were perhaps nursing a drink in ‘The Black Rose” and losing themselves to the beat.

For those not in the know, on season two of HBO’s True Detective, Lynn was often seen playing a singer in the show’s key bar room set, providing atmosphere for the hit television series and pulling double duty as a composer. Lynn almost single-handedly lends the True Detective its trademark musical atmosphere with her sultry voice.

On top of this year’s musical success from that work, Lynn ‘s second album, The Avenues, was covered by NPR’s ‘All Things Considered,’ and the record appeared in top albums of the year lists ranging from the Huffington Post to Rolling Stone magazine. To say she’s got a pretty impressive resume is putting it lightly, and that’s just from the last two years alone.

In person, despite the melancholy tone of most of her music, she’s actually pretty funny; introducing a song composed for True Detective titled "Least Favorite Life," she began with a tidbit on the surreal experience working on the show: “They dressed me up as a junkie,” she said, then quickly reassured here audience with “The good news is…. I am okay.” Despite completely falling almost into character as she falls into the music, conveying the emotion she is feeling in each song with a simple glance or expression, between songs, Lynn is a lot of fun, coming onstage wearing sparkling sequin covered leggings, constantly interacting with the crowd and shooting off jokes with a dry humor that somehow complemented the deep lyrics she seems so good at weaving with each melody.

As a musician, she’s often described as having cast a spell with her soothing, velvety voice, and the room was definitely left completely spellbound. What’s even cooler about Lynn: she’s not just a pretty lounge singer, either, although if she wanted to, she could definitely rest on that. But she refuses; she is front and center the whole show, playing not just a strum or two on each song with a guitar like some singer-songwriters and letting her band members take the lead; this girl played lead guitar on several of her songs, never missing a note be it vocally or musically.

It’s hard to pinpoint her style as a musician; she’s a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n’ roll, a little bit moody and a little bit bluesy, but never anything simple. She’s so happy just to be playing on any stage, to any size crowd, and doesn’t seem content to just use True Detective as a springboard to musical success. Not that she needs to, with that kind of voice and talent; as a composer or as a singer, she’s set to go even further, nobody fortunate enough to see this powerhouse live would ever doubt that.

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