Posted in music | pictures on December 13, 2011

photos by Chris La Putt, words by Rachel Kowal

Laura Marling

Patrons in masks generally wander the darkened halls of the McKittrick Hotel for the disturbing and wildly successful production of Sleep No More, but Sunday night, all artifice was stripped away for a quiet evening with Laura Marling.

A line of twinkling Christmas trees served as the backdrop of the velvet-curtained stage. And though Marling's music doesn't exactly smack of holiday cheer, there is a warm, comforting quality to her voice that rises above the bleakness of her lyrics.

Marling began her solo set with the beautiful, sparse finger-plucked melody of "Sophia," the single from her most recent album, A Creature I Don't Know. Though she didn't reach too far back into her discography for older favorites, she did throw in a Ryan Adams cover ("My Winding Wheel") early on to help introduce some variety to her short set. But it was the latter part of the show that was the highlight for me: a breathtaking new song (which she also played at her recent Webster Hall show), followed by the equally arresting "Alpha Shallows" and "Night After Night."

Not even an intermittent cough between songs compromised Marling's voice. Throughout her set, the sold-out crowd reverently stood in complete silence - so quiet that Marling commented on the incessant noise of shutter clicks.

I've lost track of how many times I've seen Laura Marling at this point. I'm well acquainted with her painfully short sets and with the nervous stage banter she tends to fall back on while tuning her guitar (which she likened to a "temperamental old man"). And yet, instead of quickly crossing her off my list as I do with many artists after I've seen them once, I keep going back. Because when Marling starts to sing, it's as if you are the only two people in the room.

I was at the second of two shows on Sunday night. We have pictures from the earlier one. More of them with the late show's setlist, below...

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Laura Marling set list
Sophia
Don't Ask Me Why
My Winding Wheel (Ryan Adams cover)
The Muse
I Was Just a Card
*New Song
Alpha Shallows
Night After Night
Rambling Man

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Comments (27)

9 songs. Hah. Why continue to go see someone that obviously doesn't give a shit about the audience?

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 1:34 AM

She played for 28 minutes, right? Why no mention of that Rachel?

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 1:38 AM

Who?

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 2:15 AM

Max loves your yabbos.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 6:35 AM

so hot. makes me chub quicker than chairlift girl.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 6:51 AM

fap fap fap fap...ohh

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 8:02 AM

@8:02 lasted longer than her setlist

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 8:03 AM

I thought the drink menu was the setlist.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 8:46 AM

at the 7:00 show; great sound, but less than 30 minutes? Is this how she plans to build a fan base?

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 8:59 AM

Yea 8:59 that was the weird thing. So, so short but so, so good at the same time. Definitely should've been longer, but the 28 minutes that she did play for were pretty damn amazing.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 9:36 AM

I don't care who you are as a headliner even with 1 album you should play 45 minutes but in reality 60! Get creative, do covers, b-sides whatever SOMETHING!

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 9:54 AM

Who cares about a 28 minute set? She can build her fan base simply by having photos of herself circulate around the internet.....my god.

Laura Marling > Lana del Vaginal Warts

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 9:56 AM

this girl is in a completely different league than lana del rey, both physically and musically. please don't mention LDR in this post.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 10:14 AM

28 minute set + $33 dollar ticket = $1.18 per minute to listen.

Could have bought her entire discography on iTunes instead.

Or seen Anna Calvi tonight @ MHOW 4 times w change for 1st drink.

Hopefully Anna doesn't disappoint as Marling certainly did.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 10:54 AM

She's amazing live and if she had just come out to do a song or two for the encore it wouldn't have felt so painfully short (just surprisingly short).

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 11:02 AM

Yea this is outrageous. How could you honestly ask people to pay that much and give them less than half an hour of entertainment? Id never give this loser any of my money.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 11:27 AM

Hopefully she'll use some of her concert profits to have that wart removed from her cheek.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 12:10 PM

She was incredible. And it was pretty clear the shows wouldn't be long, given the start time of each. Eat dicks, everyone.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 1:22 PM

1:22 the brevity of the shows was not clear at all based on the information provided. She should have played from 7pm to 8pm, instead she played from 712pm to 740pm. I was there. I love her too but the show was unusually short, I felt slightly cheated.

On the upside this meant me and my date banged ~30 minutes earlier than expected, so all wasn't lost.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 1:44 PM

@1:22

Incredible is right. Incredibly short.

Colluding with the venue to take a normal length set (which should have been 7-8 as 1:44 correctly points out) and split it up into twin 30 min sets, just so you can double your profits (on an already pricey ticket for a single artist show) is lame, shallow, fan-polarizing, insulting, and of the moral character a true swindler.

Fitz & Tantrums should have hopped out of the Christmas trees to play MoneyGrabber as the Encore directed at L. Marling.


Keep my $33 but don't expect me to believe your whining and pining on the next record.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 2:08 PM

Short and sweet, taking lessons from the Ramones.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 4:30 PM

4:30 that does not apply and you know it. Ramones have songs that are under 2 minutes, so they can play a 30 minute set since that means they played probably 18 songs. she has 3 minute long songs.

Posted by Anonymous | December 13, 2011 4:56 PM

Actually, I timed the second show. It was 40 minutes pretty much on the nose - still outrageously short, of course, but longer than some people have pointed out.

Posted by RK | December 14, 2011 9:41 AM

@941 I was at the first show, timed it to the minute. She played from 7:12pm to 7:40pm at the early show. Maybe she spaced out the time in between songs for you guys (since it seems like we both got the same setlist). For us, she pretty much went straight from one song to the next with no chit-chat in between.

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2011 9:56 AM

At her show in Philly a few nights before, Laura explained that not matter how much she loves a performer she gets bored at long gigs, so she makes her's short on purpose so it's more special and people don't get bored and enjoy it. I agree with her, after waiting 3 hours for a show to start I can hardly enjoy the headliner and then they play 2-3 hours and I'm exhausted and want to go to bed. I was not a Laura Marling fan before this show, but her exquiste performance and timliness turned me into one.

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2011 2:15 PM

she's hot so ill excuse it. how big a cup size are we talking?

Posted by Anonymous | December 14, 2011 5:06 PM

laura marling is so amazing.

Posted by jordon | August 10, 2013 3:06 PM

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