There are some opportunities to cover a show that are just too hard to pass up, even when your week is completely stacked. When I was invited to cover Lennon Stella‘s sold out show at The Neptune Theatre in Seattle, I knew I had to check out this rising star at a smaller venue, since it seems as though 20,000+ seat arenas are more than likely in her near future. I covered Ellie Goulding back in 2011 at Neumos in Seattle and the next time I saw her perform live was at Key Arena. The show I always go back to when I talk about memorable sets is the former.
The Neptune Theatre is a unique venue, heavy on the “God of the Sea” decor. It holds around 800 people and is situated in the University District, which is nice for those of us who don’t want to deal with downtown traffic in Seattle. If you’re someone like me who isn’t the biggest fan of imitating sardines in a can, the balcony section offers a pleasant reprieve while still being close to the stage and features decent acoustics as well. The bouncer at the door laughed at my “Pyrokinesis For Beginners” shirt, so I knew we were off to a good start.
Given Lennon Stella‘s young discography, one might assume that the starlet would spend a fair amount of time with banter, but that was not the case at all. She came to Seattle to sing and sing, she did.
Stella‘s voice is hard to describe. Personally, I find it to be one of the best and most unique voices on the radio right now. It’s not exactly smoky, it’s not really husky, but it has breaks to it that are absolutely devastating. It hits you right in the heart. She floats around every word effortlessly in much the same way she floats around the stage incorporating as much of the audience as she possibly can.
I can’t think of one song from her catalog that she left out. At one point in the show, she brought her sister, Maisy Stella, on the stage to sing their version of MGMT’s “Kids” showing that the talent does not stop at Lennon in the Stella family (their parents are musicians as well). Other surprises included a slowed down piano version of Cyndi Lauper‘s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”, as well as a new track “Goodbye/Goodnight” (or so it seems to be titled at this point), a hauntingly beautiful song that Stella played on acoustic guitar. I can only hope that it is her next single, as it is nearly perfect. The show concluded with her brand new single “Bitch (Takes One To Know One)” and an encore of her fan favorite “La Di Da”.
Sure there were moments where you could tell that the 19-year-old Ontarian was still a bit shy talking to the audience, but even those moments were endearing, as she is otherwise the walking description of “cool” in every sort of way. Time will only tell just how big the name “Lennon Stella” becomes, but in my humble opinion? She might be one of the most talented all-around artists that we’ve seen of the 2010s. Worth the price of admission to say the least.
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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