XPN favorite Nicole Atkins headlined World Cafe Live on Thursday night. Touring in support of her 2014 LP Slow Phaser, Atkins performed a mix of new songs and favorites from Mondo Amore (2011) and Neptune City (2007). As the crowd excitedly awaited her entrance on stage, she surprised everyone by coming onto the floor and introducing herself in the midst of the crowd. Barefoot and dressed in a flowing white gown, she opened up the show singing a stripped down, acoustic version of “Neptune City” while completely surrounded by the audience. Once she stepped on stage, she delivered an energetic, heartfelt performance. With only a two-piece backing band, Atkins’ powerful and soulful vocals perfectly soared over the drums and guitar creating a full, rich sound.
Midway through the show, she encouraged the audience to sing along with her to “As Country Was,” a song about how she doesn’t like new country music. Atkins also performed a beautiful and slightly haunting cover of Lee Hazleton’s ode to aging, “My Autumn’s Done Come.” Towards the end of her set, Atkins invited Ruby The Hatchet’s lead vocalist, Jillian Taylor, and Landlady’s frontman, Adam Schatz, on stage to accompany on vocals for a lively performance of “It’s Only Chemistry.” Atkins closed out the evening by returning to the floor and performing an acoustic cover of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” while circled by the audience. After the crowd cheered for more, Atkins and her band returned onstage to perform the last of the encore. Closing out the final moments of her Holiday Throwdown, Atkins performed a festive and hilarious cover of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.”
Brooklyn-based art rock band Landlady opened the show with a highly energetic performance. The four-piece group played an upbeat set of songs off their recent album Upright Behavior. Frontman Adam Schatz moved around the stage wildly as he sang lead vocals and played keyboard. Since the band’s lively and erratic music encompass various genres, Landlady successfully produces a unique and catchy sound. Landlady’s performance convinced the crowd to leave their seats to stand up by the stage, revving up the audience for Nicole Atkins’ set.
Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.