Angel Olsen’s humor and heart shine at the Crystal Ballroom
This article was written by Emerald contributor Hannah Steinkopf-Frank
In high school, North Carolina-based musician Angel Olsen was a cheerleader. Then she realized she wanted to be in a rock band, like Gwen Stefani.
“And so this is what I’m doing right now, like Gwen Stefani. That wasn’t a joke. That’s just me being honest,” she told the laughing crowd at her sold-out show at Portland’s Crystal Ballroom on Feb. 17. Indie rock mainstay Chris Cohen opened the concert.
Despite her humor, there’s truth in the fact that Olsen doesn’t fit the rock star model. Her early work had an earnest and youthful quality that sounded more like it was written, and recorded, in a high school bedroom than in a music studio. But with the release of last year’s “My Woman,” Olsen catapulted into the realm of rock stardom, embracing a more confident, fuller sound. Despite her growth as an artist, Olsen’s music, and her stage performance for that matter, are still shamelessly heartfelt with a touch of the offbeat, cheeky energy that she will hopefully never lose.
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.