Review: Indie Queen Angel Olsen Reigns at Riviera

Angel Olsen may have been fighting a cold during her show last night at the Riviera, but that didn’t stop her inner queen from shining through.

“I have a case of the sniffles, but everything will be fine, my homies,” she giggled between opener “New Love Cassette” and “All Mirrors.”

All Mirrors–the tour and the album, released Oct. 4–reflects the many sides of Angel Olsen. The quirky, playful side that can dish out sass while interacting with what she called a “spicy crowd.” The soft, soulful side that can croon with a voice reminiscent of bygone times. And the dramatic rocker side who can belt out heartbreaking hits while rocking on her guitar.

Olsen certainly looked all of those parts, dressed in a short, dark dress with long fringe and beaded shoulder pads, her hair in a modified beehive that was vintage with a modern twist–just as her voice is. Every detail, from the backdrop image of a grandiose Victorian staircase, to the beaded crystal lights hanging from the ceiling, was fitting of her fifth studio album’s dark, dramatic vibe.

Olsen rotated between playing keyboards and two guitars. She was accompanied by a full band, including a back-up guitar, bass, drums, synthesizer, cello and violin.

The first seven songs they played were off the All Mirrors album, and they show how far Olsen has come. From the strong, powerful “Lark” to the soft, haunting “Tonight,” Olsen is clearly in her element as one of indie’s reigning queens, bringing drama, flair, and her characteristic vulnerability to each song.

Olsen’s roots are in Chicago, and it was evident how at home she felt with family and friends in the audience. Between songs she teased riffs of songs she had no intention of playing and offered witty anecdotes. She shared how at a recent show someone yelled, “you’re my queen, bitch” and she’s been saying that to herself in the mirror ever since.

Olsen played “Special” and “Sweet Dreams” off her 2017 album, Phases before breaking into a crowd-pleasing “Shut Up Kiss Me,” her most popular song to date.

The band left the stage for Olsen to close with “Some Things Cosmic,” off her first EP, Strange Cacti, bringing her back to her roots as a solo artist.

She walked off with a mischievous smile, only to return for a two-song encore consisting of “Chance” and a rousing “True Blue”–her song with Mark Ronson–that had the whole crowd grooving.

After last night, there should be no doubt that Angel Olsen is our queen.

This concert review was written by guest author Valerie Nikolas and photos by Stephanie Nikolas.



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