Laura Marling @ The Chapel, San Francisco 5/18/13
Laura MarlingвЂ™s acoustic set may have demanded attention, but it had no need to. The English songstress drew a three-person-deep ring around the stage the moment doors opened relatively early in the evening. And unlike the typically youthful and blasГ© crowds of independent artists, hers was notably diverse: some middle-aged men towards the center, groups of twenty-something women off to the left, a few scattered teenagers here and there. They all certainly had something in common, however, and it was an unwavering admiration for MarlingвЂ™s prodigious talent.
Fans were whispering back and forth about the setlist, wondering how much of it would consist of her anticipated new material. Luckily for them, after an introductory medley, Marling launched into one of her latest singles, вЂњMaster Hunter,вЂќ followed by yet another new track titled вЂњLittle Love Caster.вЂќ It wasnвЂ™t all just poetry and strumming, however; having relayed an anecdote about refusing to have a guitar tech along with her on tour and breaking her first instrument immediately upon taking the stage in Seattle, she spent a good deal of time tuning her last remaining one. She mentioned having stopped at a vegan restaurant before coming into the city, eliciting several cheers from the audience, and laughed upon being asked what her favorite dinosaur was. She couldnвЂ™t come up with a вЂњcool enough answerвЂќ to respond to his inquiry and continued tuning.
Marling @ The Chapel, SF 05/18/2013 by The Owl Mag, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/theowlmag/8755235139/”>
Her playing was firm and her words authentic. Another woman her age has yet to draw the universal acclaim she has for her prowess in song crafting, and Laura Marling gave no reason to challenge this reputation. The audience was begging for an encore, a tradition she does not partake in, and for a moment it seemed she might perform a tad longer. But she chose to finish tuning and closed out her set gracefully amidst cries for more songs.
вЂњA true poet,вЂќ echoed throughout the crowd upon its exit. There was no merchandise, no roadies, and no one to help her carry her guitar. She came, conquered, and drove herself out of the venue after the show. While there may be some irony in the title of her new record (due to her recent relocation to Los Angeles), Once I Was An Eagle is proving to be another collection of mature insights into the tumultuous mind of one of the greatest talents to come out of England in recent times.
To check out more badass photos of the show, go HERE.