Bat For Lashes definitely started off their US tour on the right foot. The band played for a sold out crowd at the plush Varsity Theater in Minneapolis, one of my personal favorite venues. It’s got great sound, good sightlines, comfy furniture, cool atmosphere and a laid back vibe. You can’t really go wrong with a show at The Varsity. Well actually you can. But it’s probably not going to be due to the venue.
I only knew a few Bat For Lashes songs going into the show, but my friends across the pond speak very highly of her and those Brits have good taste, so I bought two tickets during the pre-sale and anxiously awaited the show. I had no idea what to expect. I was originally introduced to Bat For Lashes via an unofficial Garbage forum. Someone posted the video for What’s A Girl To Do? as the definition of “noir”. It seems Geffen dropped her after hearing her solo work:
Geffen thought my music was “too noir” for their tastes which is fair enough but why they signed me in the first place is a bit confusing based on my discography.
Of course, this all started with Garbage…But this review is about Bat For Lashes, so I’ll continue.
I got the venue about 20 min before doors opened and the line stretched all the way around the block. I’ve never seen a line that long before at The Varsity. I was glad I bought my tickets early.
Opening Act: Other Lives
I’m still not sure what to think about Other Lives. I don’t know who they are or where they’re from, but they were quite interesting. The singer came on stage wearing black tights and a cape and danced through the whole show – very theatrical. He put on a very energetic performance, but I didn’t care much for the singing. It could have been partly because I was right up front, but he seemed slightly off-key. I really liked the music, though. It was a fusion of real instruments and synths. Not sure what you’d call it.
Bat for Lashes
I moved back for Bat for Lashes (I know, I did it backwards) because my friend Lucy was meeting me at the show after work. We found a spot on the risers in the center of the room, just in front of the sound booth. The sound was obviously much better back here than it was up front and because we were elevated a little we had a great view.
The stage setup had a very magical or whimsical feel. Natasha’s keyboard had a fabric banner of a wolf with a black light shining on it. There was also a huge fabric banner behind the stage of a wolf and there was a spotlight on the banner throughout most of the show. There were lots of knick-knacks everywhere, including what looked like three wise men from a nativity scene. Natasha’s outfit was almost gypsy or fortune teller-like: a flowing and glittery long dress-like garmnet, belted at the waist with dark tights. Basically, the atmostphere on stage combined with the atmosphere of The Varsity was absolutely perfect.
And now, the music. Wow. I did not realize how amazing Natasha’s voice is until this show. She’s got a tremendous range, excellent tone and spot-on pitch. I don’t think the beauty of her vocals truly comes out on the recorded albums. I was in awe.
Natasha didn’t say much while on stage, though when she did, she was quiet, sweet and charming. She said she had a bit of a cold but her singing was flawless and aside from a small cough here and there between songs, you’d have never known she was not feeling 100%. She did a good job of using the whole stage when she was not behind her keyboards and bounced around much more than I had expected. The crowd was definitely into the set and for the most part was a great audience. I got the impression that Bat for Lashes consistently play excellent shows. I will definitely be there the next time they come through the Twin Cities.
- Sleep Alone
- Horse & I
- Travelling Woman
- Siren Song
- Peace of Mind
- What’s a Girl to Do
- Pearl’s Dream
- Good Love
- Moon & Moon
- Two Planets
There have been some great videos posted on YouTube of the show. I’ve included the ones I found here, including a couple of different videos of the same songs. Enjoy!