Lhasa at the HotHouse

OCT. 3, 2005
HotHouse, Chicago

If I had a chance to redo my list of 2004’s best albums, The Living Road by Lhasa would move up from the honorable mentions into the top 10, maybe the top 5. This elegant, beautiful, haunting record has proved to have legs.

Lhasa did not disappoint in concert, commanding the attention of a crowded room of quiet listeners as she sang with just two musicians backing her up, mostly on guitar and cello. She told a few lengthy stories as introductions to her songs, giving the concert the feel of “VH1 Storytellers,” which might have been annoying if she weren’t such a heartfelt and compelling speaker.

I love the way she looks when she sings, raising her left hand next to her head, sometimes making a fist and scrunching up her eyes as if she were squeezing the notes out of her head. Simply amazing music.