Elle King receives a warm welcome from a chilly Chicago as both her voice and smile filled the Vic Theatre.
Recently, Elle King has opened up about the rather tumultuous last few years from which she thankfully seems to have now emerged. The one upside to going through some of the experiences she has endured is the it’s given her some gritty material to write about for her recent album, Shake The Spirit. As you would expect, the majority of her set comprised of songs from this album, a whopping 11 songs, in fact, with the first three songs of the set being “Baby Outlaw,” “Ram Jam,” and “Talk of the Town.”
Despite the deeply personal and emotional lyrics, King was beaming from ear to ear from the moment she stepped out on to the stage, clearly enjoying every second of being on that stage and the performing in front of her eager fans. The joy was reciprocated by the crowd, with one little girl in the front even giving King a bunch of flowers.
If you’ve never seen King perform live, you are truly missing out. Her voice is very much front and center, as it should be with a voice that sounds like that – the perfect combination of gravel, power and softness. The stripped back performance of “Chained” which featured Elle and guitarist Cameron Neal, who co-wrote the song with her, saw the pair take to the spotlight together, as they perfectly harmonized the vocal line. The audience repeatedly showed their appreciation for this song by cheering and whooping throughout.
Elle is not an artist you can pigeon-hole into one particular genre, which helped keep the set sounding fresh as she blended rock, soul, blues and country to create her own unique sound. Her fashion style reflected this combination of genres as she rocked a vintage Motley Crue jersey and country-style hat while picking away at the banjo.
King obviously makes the most of her time when visiting each city as she tours, as she reminisced on past visits to Chicago and one in particular when she had sampled the infamous Chicago beverage Malort. This received a large cheer from the local crowd. As with many musicians who visits the city, she also found herself enticed into the iconic Chicago Music Exchange where she bought a bass to add to her arsenal.
With a voice like hers and the response she received from the audience, it’s only a matter of time before she will be performing in bigger venues, so get out there and enjoy the intimate settings while you can. Luckily Chicago doesn’t have long to wait for her return, as she will be taking to the stage at the Aragon Ballroom on December 2 as part of 101WKQX’s The Nights We Stole Christmas, opening for Death Cab For Cutie. Elle also has a few dates remaining on her current tour so be sure to get yourself along.