Tag Archives: Lianne La Havas


Lianne La Havas Mixes Old and New at The Bowery Ballroom

July 10th, 2015

Lianne La Havas – The Bowery Ballroom – July 9, 2015

Nearly 3 years ago, I had the pleasure to see Lianne La Havas grace the stage at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom, performing for a growing fan base. Since then, her star has only risen, winning Album of the Year at iTunes UK for her 2012 debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough?, and providing backing vocals for a lil’ dude named Prince last fall on Saturday Night Live. She returned for another sold-out Bowery Ballroom appearance last night, on the heels of a soon-to-be released sophomore effort, Blood. Her latest work draws from a Jamaican vacation she took with her mother, reconnecting with relatives and, naturally, the famed dance halls of Kingston.

Opening with that album’s lead single, “Unstoppable,” La Havas displayed a groove reminiscent of Erykah Badu with a pop kick. She strapped on the bass for another new tune, “Green and Gold,” before returning to familiar material. Rattling off “but found myself in a secondhand guitar,” the British songstress strummed her mint green electric guitar for fave “Is Your Love Big Enough?” She managed to seamlessly appease with songs from her previous album while introducing new material from the upcoming one. Pairing the new and Lauryn Hill–tinged “Grow” with oldie “Age” demonstrated the sophistication she’s developed from simple ditty to a mature composition, which had the crowd singing along to a chorus of “Turn up for love.” To conclude her set, the rock-heavy “Never Get Enough” had the lass pounding her fists to the beat of the drums.

Not to end the evening short, opener Keenan O’Meara joined the headliner for another new track, “Wonder.” The band returned for the debut of her latest single “What You Don’t Do,” which had echoes of Aretha Franklin’s soul. When La Havas announced the last song, fans booed but were quickly relieved with the knowledge that she would be returning to Terminal 5 in September. Although the night ended with “Forget,” the performance won’t be wiped from anyone’s recollection. La Havas is now a star rather than a rising one, and there will be no sophomore slump as her latest record will only add to her fame. —Sharlene Chiu

(Lianne La Havas plays Terminal 5 on 9/26.)


Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Lianne La Havas on 7/9

July 7th, 2015


English singer-songwriter and guitarist Lianne La Havas finishes the current leg of her American tour on Thursday night at The Bowery Ballroom (although she returns to New York City to play Terminal 5 on 9/26). The bad news is the show quickly sold out, but the good news is The House List is giving away two tickets. Don’t have any but want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Lianne La Havas, 7/9) and a brief message explaining why you deserve to go. Eddie Bruiser, who’s ready to silently judge you, will notify the winner by Thursday. Good luck.

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Lianne La Havas Enchants a Sold-Out Music Hall of Williamsburg

April 11th, 2013

Lianne La Havas – Music Hall of Williamsburg – April 10, 2013

A sold-out crowd filled the air with whispers of anticipation waiting for Lianne La Havas to take the stage last night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Following a rollicking set from opener Jamie N Commons, we were primed and ready to hear even more fierce, soulful music. The lights crept up slowly on La Havas as she opened with an acoustic version of crowd favorite “No Room for Doubt.” The audience silently swayed and only occasionally sneaked pictures of the British songstress, clad in a gorgeous white dress and switching frequently among three guitars on hand for the occasion. A full band joined in after the first song and readied for “Au Cinéma.”

The other musicians—James Wyatt on keys, Chris Dagger on bass and Jay Sikora on drums, with backing vocals by Rhianna Kenny—combined for a sensational sound as La Havas continued to woo the crowd with renditions of “Everything Everything” and “Is Your Love Big Enough?” her breakout 2012 debut record’s title track. During the latter, she entreated us to join her, saying, “I’d like to make kind of a human drum kit” and quickly taught us a routine complete with syncopated claps and stomping. She then led us into a more subdued and mesmerizing interlude with “Tease Me,” “Gone” and “Lost & Found.” “Let us talk about my ex-boyfriend for a minute. I hope you will join me in getting some aggression out,” said La Havas, smiling coyly, before they doled out a triumphant version of “Forget!” followed by an excellent cover of Radiohead’s “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi” and then “They Could Be Wrong.” Pleased by the crowd, at one point the singer-songwriter gushed: “Honestly, I just love my job.”

During “Don’t Wake Me Up,” La Havas smiled brightly as she introduced her talented band members, clearly a tight-knit bunch. Uproarious applause spilled through the venue as we beckoned La Havas back for an encore. She gladly obliged, with perfectly executed versions of “Empty,” “Elusive” and “Age.” Her music is uniquely soulful and simmers with graceful defiance. La Havas is about the begin working on her sophomore album, which she promises will be released later this year. And at the end of her set, grinning from ear to ear, La Havas asked us if she could snap a few pictures, going so far as to ask if the lights on the balcony could be adjusted to get a better shot of the faces beaming back at her. Her humility is sincerely enchanting, and this soul chanteuse is clearly destined for continued success. —Schuyler Rooth








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.)