Liz Longley opened the show with an acapella performance, so, if for some reason you were doubting her vocal abilities, she proved you wrong right off the bat. I can say for certain that Liz sounded just as good (if not better) than she sounded on her album. Longley played an even mix of the songs on her new album, her old albums, some brand new songs that haven't been released yet, and two covers (which were excellent).
Naturally, I was excited to hear one of my favorite songs of hers live. When Liz got to "Outta My Head," she did not disappoint. She provided a little bit of a back story, which she also did throughout the rest of the show. These little pieces of information supplemented the already great stories that Liz tells through her music. She actually almost changed "John Martyn" to "John Mayer" (who is a fan, by the way) because not a lot of people actually knew who Martyn was. But she decided to stick to the facts and keep John Martyn in the song because it didn't have the same feel without him.
Liz threw it back to an older song of hers, "Unraveling," which was about her grandmother who had Alzheimer's when Liz was 18. Liz played it solo on the keys, and the entire room stopped for a second. You could tell that everyone in the room was impacted by her words and her story. This was one of my favorite vocal performances from her throughout the night.
Liz also played a newer song called "Only Love This Time Around," which she wrote with Michael Logan. Both of them went into the writing session and discovered that they were both fascinated by near death experiences. They watched YouTube videos in order to gather some information, and came up with a song which is as beautiful as it is inspiring. It is lyrics like "this time around I will not fear/this time around I choose forgiveness/only love this time around," that have the power to capture what a person who's had that experience has gone through, and the change the lives of the people who haven't.
About mid-way through the set, Liz invited a friend named Robbie Hecht on stage with her to cover Don Williams' "If I Needed You." She used to message him back in the days of Myspace and tell him what a huge fan she was. The two became friends after that. It was obviously meant to be, because their voices sounded amazing together, especially when they started singing acapella at the end of the song.
I think that my favorite performance of the set was Liz's cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon." Although it was a cover that I never would have expected, I thoroughly enjoyed it, as did the rest of the audience. Liz completely did this song justice, and the audience was bopping along. It was definitely a crowd favorite.
Longley didn't even have to leave the stage and come back for the encore - she knew that we wanted one. First, she played "When You've Got Trouble," which was played on heavy rotation on Sirius XM radio. Longley wrote it over spring break, had a good cry, and then ran into her parents bedroom and played it for them. She said that the song "connected me to a lot of powerful stories, far more powerful than the one that inspired the song." What connects people to this song is definitely the lyrics, which are supportive and heart-warming.
Overall, I am so glad that I got to see Liz Longley while she was in town. If she ever makes it your way, you should definitely go and see what this powerhouse can do. You won't regret it.