Folk artist Lissie headlined the Singer/Songwriter
Showcase Thursday night, a concert sponsored by A.S.
Program Board.
The show also featured five local students who
brought their A-game to The Hub as a modest crowd of
fellow students and supporters cheered them on. Among
the student performers were Mai Cao, Sean Malone,
Emily Rath and Wyatt “Pineapple” Rogers. Matt Corona
also played the annual event for the second year running.
Artsweek talked to Lissie before the show in a group
interview. Lissie was rejected from UCSB when she
applied some years back. Her excitement about the transition
from playing for quarters outside of Colorado State
University to headlining a show at UCSB was apparent.
To Lissie, the term singer/songwriter “denotes being a
solo artist and just playing the guitar and singing on your
own, but [it’s] really such a general term.”
Many of the student performers adhered to her
definition with only Rath singing with a piano.
Highlights included Cao’s quirky “true life” song about
the sloppy I.V. nightlife (“The I.V. Song”) and Rogers’
imaginative reworking of Dido’s chorus in “Stan” set to
evoke a hangover. Well-known student singer Rath also
delivered her final UCSB performance with the touching
original “Not Yours Anymore,” as she is set to graduate
this year.
Lissie finally took to the stage after the student performers
finished their sets.
She described her album Catching a Tiger as “a lot
about heartbreak and longing to find my kind of place.”
The mood of this captured the room along with her
career-launching cover of Hank Williams’ “Wedding
In between songs, Lissie joked about being too lazy to
even tune her guitar because now people do that for her
on tour. She’s not the one-woman-show she used to be.
“Have patience and always believe what you are doing
is good,” Lissie said. “If you believe it long enough then
other people will start to.”
An entrancing lull overcame the audience as Lissie
performed her original “Here Before.” Though she stood
still with guitar in hand on the small Hub stage, her voice
worked the crowd. Lissie commanded full attention of
the formerly ebbing and flowing crowd.
Her shining moment came with the inspiring, “Bully.”
Lissie’s song radiated through the Hub with her passionate
vocal performance and she made a few enthusiastic
leaps as she rocked back and forth to the music. Eric
Sullivan, her lead guitarist, tore up the stage during this
number with a guitar solo that got the crowd cheering.
After playing her more well-known tracks, “Cuckoo”
and “In Sleep,” Lissie left the stage before returning for
her encore. She came out doing her favorite song, “Oh
Mississippi,” then ended with audience favorite “Pursuit
of Happiness,” a Kid Cudi cover the audience implored
her to play during her set.
Describing her creative process in the pre-show interview,
Lissie likened it to “therapy and completely emptying
[her] subconscious.”
In the audience, we all felt that creative process come
through her live performances. Though some didn’t stay[media-credit id=20213 align=”alignright” width=”250″][/media-credit]
for Lissie’s entire set, only wanting to hear “Pursuit of
Happiness,” those who waited were not disappointed.