ANGEL OLSEN + JONATHAN RICHMAN + CHRIS COHEN @ THE WILTERN THEATRE
Photos and recap by Leslie Kalohi
The Wiltern got into the spirit of Valentine’s Day for Angel Olsen’s sold out show. Upon entering the venue, fans could wear name tags that displayed “Single” or “Taken,” while a pianist delicately delivered tunes in the lobby adorned with heart-shaped balloons.
It might have been an unusual choice for a Valentine’s Day show, but Angel Olsen was warmly embraced by everyone in attendance for the romantic holiday. With all her band members dressed in identical suits against a backdrop of gold tinsel and powder blue balloons, it was as if Olsen was front and center at a high school dance. With its haunting timbre, Olsen’s voice inspired many people to appropriately slow dance in place with their significant others, or slink back into the shadows of the Wiltern with a drink, remembering love(s) lost. Although the melancholic mood was set by beginning with “Never Be Mine,” songs like the defiant “Shut Up Kiss Me” from last year’s My Woman would be a welcomed, loud reprieve. The encore concluded with a cover of “Total Control” by The Motels.
The always delightful Jonathan Richman (and partner in crime Tommy Larkin on drums) received an enthusiastic welcome to the stage for an all-too-brief set ahead of Angel Olsen. Richman managed to find time to shimmy and shake while also delivering classic songs like “I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar.”
Everything came full circle for evening opener Chris Cohen, who revealed his father was an employee at The Wiltern, with Cohen himself also serving as an usher in the 90s. The L.A. based singer-songwriter weaved a rich, melodic tapestry akin to the likes of Belle and Sebastian and The Smiths.
Never Be Mine
Shut Up Kiss Me
Heart Shaped Face
Those Were the Days
High & Wild
Not Gonna Kill You
Give It Up
Total Control (The Motels cover)