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A Total Delight to Watch

September 29th, 2011

Laura Marling – Webster Hall – September 28, 2011


As has often been said, Laura Marling is an artist way beyond her years—in her writing, lyrics and stage presence. And last night at Webster Hall was no exception. I have never witnessed 1,500 people so respectfully quiet and engaged. Starting her set with “Rambling Man,” Marling sang the song’s most poignant line over and over: “Let it always be known that I was who I am.” There is an interesting juxtaposition when someone who makes such introspective, insightful music is greeted with screaming fans after each song. She might not be used to it just yet, but Marling responded to the adoration with humble appreciation.

Marling and the five-piece band behind her, which included cello, double bass, mandolin, French horn and a host of other instruments, erupted with full energy for “Alpha Swallows.” Continuing to dart among her three albums, Marling played fan-favorite “Ghosts” and an ode to her homeland, “Goodbye England (Covered in Snow).” And while songs like “Sophia” and “Salinas” are new, they’ve already become fan favorites. Never a fan of the encore, Marling said, “For those of you who want an encore, this is the last song and for those of you who don’t, this is the second-to-last song.” Ever subtle and graceful, Marling packs a musical punch without relying on the bells and whistles so many others do. She is 100 percent engaging and a pure talent of an old-school kind. —Lauren Glucksman

Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine | www.jcmcilwaine.com