Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan played to a full house at SOhO on Saturday night. Dressed in an emerald dress and stylish boots, she looked as beautiful as the music she performed.
Many of the songs Hannigan played were from her sophomore album, Passenger, which was released on Sept. 20 in both the U.S. and Canada. Lisa said her inspiration for the album came from traveling.
“I actually was on the road for the writing of the record,” Hannigan said during an interview over the phone. “That was the biggest over-arching theme: being away from home and being in a different place. There was a lot of nostalgia that came with being away from home; it makes me think of times past and reminds you of all the stuff you can take with you through life.”
This theme was especially apparent in the songs, “Home,” “Passenger,” “Nowhere to Go,” “Paper House” and “Safe Travels (Don’t Die).”
All of her songs were played with passion and elegance, and her flawless vocals filled the entire room and the hearts of all in it.
Hannigan is truly a versatile performer. She played a wide-array of instruments, including the guitar, ukulele and harmonium, all while singing and energetically stomping to the beat. She put a piece of herself into every song she played, and she playfully engaged the audience. It’s so refreshing to see an artist who has fun while performing.
She played each song with the same care, and if she had not told me her favorite song, I never would have been able to tell.
“I love all the songs on the record,” Hannigan said. “If I have to pick one, my favorite song is ‘Little Bird.’ I feel sort of complete with this song — it exposes the barest of bones.”
The song is chilling, with lyrics like “I am lonely as a memory / despite the gathering round the fire / Aren’t you every bird on every wire?”
A group of handsome men dressed in vests and collared shirts accompanied Lisa for most of her songs. The vocal and musical harmonies complimented Hannigan’s poetic lyrics, and their combined energies made for a performance to remember.
SOhO was the perfect venue to experience her music. The dim lighting, comfortable seating and warm atmosphere created the kind of intimate setting Hannigan loves.
“I like a small venue for the connection with the audience,” Hannigan said.
She was incredibly humble, despite her success and talked with her fans after her performance. Hannigan started her career in 2001 as a collaborator with Damien Rice. In 2007, she moved forward with her own career, and has since toured with musicians such as David Gray and Jason Mraz. She said her dream is to one day perform with musician Tony Bennett.