Here’s something I didn’t know until very recently: Margaret Glaspy absolutely rips live. You get a sense of it on her records, but until you see her in person, it’s hard to grasp just how hard she goes. When I listen to her songs at home, the focus is always on the words and the melody, but last weekend at Sleeping Village, I saw a different side of her that featured exploding guitar riffs and loud guttural vocals that would give BB King goosebumps.
Having never seen her before, I had an idea of what the show would be. Obviously she’s super talented so I knew it would be great, but I did expect something a little slower. From start to finish the audience was in the palm of her hand. Whether it was a song off of her latest release, Echo The Diamond, or a classic from Emotions In Math, everyone was singing along with a palpable feeling of joy filling the room. The setlist took heavily from the new album, of course, and it seems the crowd has spent the last two months since its release memorizing every word.
Even when the band left the stage and Glaspy played solo, the vocal performance was so edgy and free that the energy level never went down. And the covers that she chose to play, while wildly different, gave a great insight into her influences as a musician. There was a wonderful version of Alanis Morissette’s “You Learn” in the later part of the set, and she closed with a cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Fruits Of My Labor,” which you may have heard on Glaspy’s episode of Norah Jones’ podcast.
The show lasted about an hour and ten minutes, after a great opening set by Tasha. I could’ve easily listened for another couple of hours. Echo The Diamond is currently sitting in my top 20 albums released in 2023. If you’d like to check it out, you can find it here. The tour continues, including more shows in Chicago with her partner Julian Lage opening for Andrew Bird’s annual run of holiday shows at 4th Presbyterian Church. For all dates, go here.