Lianne La Havas Sells Out The Bowery Ballroom

September 12th, 2012

Lianne La Havas – The Bowery Ballroom – September 11, 2012

Crossing over the pond isn’t the easiest for UK artists, so when they do, it’s best to take notice. We all know about Adele’s meteoric rise up the Billboard charts last year with her sophomore album, 21, so queue the female British invasion 2.0 with Lianne La Havas. The 23-year-old brought songs from her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough? to Bowery Ballroom last night. She opened with “Don’t Wake Me Up,” and the sold-out crowd happily sang along. La Havas exclaimed, “Cheers, New York City,” raising her gin and tonic to the audience. She was in “a moment of disbelief” at the overwhelming welcome and repeatedly thanked everyone for coming.

The band exited the stage as the spotlight shown only on La Havas while she performed “Tease Me,” “Everything Everything” and “Age.” Stripping herself of her guitar, the singer crooned “Empty.” Performing while New York Fashion Week was in full swing, La Havas donned her trademark collar shirt with sparkly knit top. Being singled out for her signature looks, she was spotted at the DKNY show. Much like the aforementioned fellow UK artist, La Havas’s album draws from heartache, and quite a few songs catalog her relationship with her ex. “Forget” was a breakup anthem that fans exalted along with, and “Gone” was a perfect bookend to the set as a goodbye lullaby to her former love.

Before going into her encore, La Havas took time to note the significance of the date, 9/11, and how much the city has rebuilt and healed. Eluded to earlier in the set, she covered Jill Scott’s “He Loves Me” for superfan Casey, who was front and center for the whole show. Appropriately ending with her album’s title track, which was written in New York City, La Havas cheekily sang, “Dance until you aren’t drunk anymore.” But she had one question left: “Is Your Love Big Enough?” For the fans at The Bowery Ballroom, it sure was. —Sharlene Chiu

(Lianne La Havas plays the Cushman & Wakefield Theater at Barclays Center on 10/29 with John Legend.)