Mercury Lounge, New York, NY — There were definitely more men in their 50s at this show than I expected to see!
I went partly because I enjoy Colleen’s records and partly as something of a recon mission: As I’m focusing more on making music again, singing and playing power chords live over canned backing tracks is an approachable performance goal, and I wanted to see how well a pro could make it work. Colleen’s biggest strength is her songwriting, and its humility and wry sense of humor extend to her stage presence. The result is a pretty casual performance, which suits her lo-fi vibe, but her signature sunglasses are somewhat at odds with that, putting a purposeful distance between performer and audience. I would have liked to see her embrace that more and really take command of the room. Colleen makes it work, and it was a fun show, but I think a slightly more cultivated persona in either direction – cocky or timid – would have made it feel more like an event than just something we all decided to do on a Wednesday.