Lynn O'Brien RISING to the Occasion
RISING - ALBUM RELEASE CONCERT
SPECIAL GUESTS: ANNIE MACK
VENUE: THE HOOK AND LADDER
DECEMBER 6, 2018
All content by: Patrick Dunn
An album release concert is a celebration of new material that an artist can use to generate awareness and grow their fan base. Having a venue completely sold-out in advance would suggest you are gaining traction, which was the case for Lynn O’Brien’s unveiling of RISING at the Hook and Ladder on December 6th. Another encouraging detail I observed was that many in attendance were not there to experience O’Brien’s music for the first time, but rather to become further enlightened as they follow along her journey and mission to empower the soul. I was also impressed by her efforts to share the event via live stream for those that were not lucky enough to have a ticket to the show.
The performance started out in a way that I’ve never experienced before as O’Brien invited the audience to join her in a moment of joyful silence. She eased into a vocal chant and was able to encourage her audience to join along as if she were conducting an orchestra. Quick to recognize others who helped bring this album to life, she called out that at times there could be as many as 12 additional musicians on stage at any given time.
It’s not easy to compare O’Brien’s collection of music to any one particular style. One of the new songs, “How Can I Give My Love Away” has a similar vibe to Natalie Merchant’s “Carnival”. There was an edgy shift for “Letting You Know”, showing a little attitude for this acknowledgment towards women setting up healthy boundaries. The message was appreciated and inspired some of the evenings best crowd participation. Other selections were enhanced with various forms of accompaniment including string instruments, backup singers and a horn section. One of the evenings brightest moments developed during the albums title track RISING which grabs your attention with its captivating acoustic guitar intro. Several women in the audience who contributed vocals on the recording were invited to join in at the end of the song making for a powerful moment.
This show had great flow and felt very well put together. O’Brien satisfied her reputation as a unique performer and clearly has a purpose that extends well beyond simple entertainment. Supporting act Annie Mack also deserves recognition for a solid opening set that showed off her vocal talent and aligned nicely with the evenings overall feel.