Valerie June // Live at Headliners Music Hall
PHOTOS AND REVIEW COURTESY OF : Emily May
Memphis singer-songwriter Valerie June made a stop in Louisville, KY on her recent tour, performing to a nearly sold out crowd of fans. Although Headliners Music Hall is a mostly standing GA venue, this evening saw the venue set up with rows of chairs for those attending to sit, creating a cozy and intimate atmosphere. With the house lights dim, the stage was mostly lit by a few lamps and isolated house lighting. Valerie June came out onto the stage to a roar of applause and cheers, standing at the side of the stage in front of a tall microphone for her first song before moving to a chair at the front of the stage to have better interaction with the crowd. A multi-instrumentalist who blends gospel, folk, blues soul, country, Appalachian and bluegrass music, she chatted with the crowd often throughout her set, telling them stories about growing up singing gospel music at church and mixing those songs with her own stories and the guitar. She talked a lot about her songs, describing the meaning behind many of them before singing them. She told the crowd about how a lot of her favorite songwriters were also poets, such as Patty Smith and Leonard Cohen, as she enjoys hearing a story in a songShe is a very expressive singer and it was easy to read the passion she had for her music with each song she sang. It’s not often that you can have a venue full of concert-goers that are quiet and focused on the music, but everyone in attendance this evening was enraptured by her stage presence, her voice, her passion and her stories. She is a true performer and a gifted storyteller. She ended her set with “Slip Slide On By” and “There Is A Light”, which had the crowd singing along at full volume. After leaving the stage briefly, she came back out for one final song. Clad in a beautiful floor length gold shimmery gown, she stood at the side of the stage where she started the show and sang “Goodnight Irene”. She gave the crowd a wonderful and entertaining night of music and stories! Parker Gispert of the band The Whigs opened the show.