Saturday, March 17, 2012

Live Review - EMA @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

While SXSW is taking place in Austin, Texas, one of the festival's break-out stars from 2011, EMA headlined Music Hall of Williamsburg to a pack but not sold-out audience on Friday night. With a stage decorated with color changing lanterns, and backed by a band that consisted of a drummer, programmer / violinist and guitarist, Erika M. Anderson aka EMA brought her subtle and sexual sound to North Brooklyn.

In support of her 2011 sophomore release, the acclaimed, Past Life Martyred Saints, EMA took the stage as if it was her home and displayed the raw emotion and power that she has gotten her the praise that has helped her career. Her minimal sound with Lou Reed-eque lyrical delivery coupled with her etherial voice, EMA captivated and hypnotized the audience in Brooklyn. While each song would build and build into its climax, it represented the type of music EMA makes and performance, in so many ways watching her perform and hearing her sonic delivery is parallel to making intimate love - it builds and builds and climaxes then comes down, yet, for EMA it happens with every song. Songs like "The Grey Ship," and "Butterfly Knife," are the perfect examples of this. Her songs themselves speak of sexuality, small towns and celebrity and trying to be comfortable in your own skin, with an audience that seemed to be thriving on those concepts, EMA was a hit. In between songs EMA would banter about her lighting design and lanterns, while the audience would do their best to respond to her off-beat jokes and dark humor, it was the music that they were their for and what they wanted.