Concert Review: Laura Marling, July 28, Opera House

A couple of days before the Laura Marling show at The Opera House, I was checking out a few of her videos online and perhaps foolishly I decided to read the comments. While they were largely positive, a few represented the backlash against Marling moving towards a more “rock” sound (and also, weirdly against her haircut), with one commenter stating that “going electric is not really necessary.” Interestingly, Marling just played the Newport Folk Festival on the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan going electric, an event which the festival actually celebrated this year. It’s 2015 – do people really still care if folk musicians are using electric guitars?

While some may wonder whether Marling going electric is “necessary,” there weren’t really any naysayers in the crowd at the Opera House. Rather, Marling and her tourmates Johnny Flynn and Marika Hackman played to a packed house of enthusiastic fans. When Flynn invited Marling out to join him on vocals for the final song of his set, the crowd erupted into the kind of cheers one expects to hear at a Backstreet Boys show or something. Flynn himself elicited a strong reaction with one fan shouting out, “You kick ass!” After a pause and a shrug, Flynn responded with “Thanks … I’m sure you do too.”

Marling took to the stage shortly thereafter and impressed with a crowd pleasing set. Highlights included “Master Hunter,” “Strange,” and a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Do I Ever Cross Your Mind.” Before playing that one, Marling mentioned how she had been practicing her picking after playing a Country Music Hall of Fame induction for Townes Van Zandt, whose “For The Sake Of The Song” Marling would play later in her set. Acoustic or electric, it doesn’t matter – Laura Marling puts on a satisfying show.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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