“I don’t understand how lengthy I’ve been on tour,” Angel Olsen mentioned throughout a short second of reflection on the 9:30 Membership on Thursday night time. “It seems like about two years.”
Whereas it’s really been nearer to 14 months, Olsen’s profile has soared in that point. The interval has been marked by the discharge of her third (and finest) album, “My Lady,” in September 2016 and the principally fascinating “Phases,” a 12-track odds-and-ends assortment issued final month.
With Olsen ostensibly touring behind “Phases,” Thursday’s set — the primary of a two-night run on the 9:30 Membership — got here throughout as a simultaneous profession summation and chapter closing. It was a muscular show of Olsen’s command of dynamics, pressure, and distinctive mix of rock, soul and nation.
Her sparkle-silver ’60s sci-fi bodysuit, Beatle boots and Vox amp have been an applicable dollop of retro — one other sign that Olsen has grown far past her roots as a unusual alt-folk singer.
Vocals are the centerpiece of any Olsen efficiency, however her band was simply as outstanding all through Thursday’s practically two-hour set. Guitarist Paul Sukeena pulled lengthy, sinewy accents that leapt from a lithe mixture of bass, drums and keyboards pulsing sympathetically with each chord change.
“My Lady” and 2014’s “Burn Your Fireplace for No Witness” have been the central reservoirs from which the set was drawn: “Shut Up Kiss Me,” “Sister,” “Lights Out,” the outstanding “These Had been the Days” and a track we’ll check with as “UNF” all sounded stronger and extra assured than their recorded counterparts.
She didn’t a lot play these songs as she prowled by them, emphasizing a vocal nuance right here, stretching out second of silence there. At one level she chuckled throughout an prolonged pause, seemingly amused on the energy of her personal songwriting, earlier than the band crashed headfirst into the following chord.
Olsen closes this part of her profession with a present in her present dwelling city of Asheville, N.C., on Saturday night time — she has solo dates scheduled throughout Australia and Europe subsequent spring — dropping the curtain on a interval that she referred to as “one hell of a muddy time, politically, emotionally, spiritually,” in a current Instagram publish.
It appears pure to imagine she’ll spend most of 2018 engaged on new materials. Given the boldness she appears flush with, the drumbeat Olsen could hear within the distance is the sound of heightened expectations for a significant artist.