Lissie At The Masonic Lodge At Hollywood Forever Cemetery
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By Crystal Larsen
Lissie Maurus is making her mark on the indie folk rock scene from California to the Mississippi River … literally. Having already honed her skills on tours across the United States with GRAMMY winners Ray LaMontagne and Lenny Kravitz, the Southern California-based singer/songwriter (by way of the Mississippi River town of Rock Island, Ill.) visited her former Hollywood hood for a unique performance in the intimate Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on May 28.
Situated in one of the oldest cemeteries in Los Angeles, which houses the headstones of such luminary music figures as Dee Dee Ramone and Johnny Ramone, among others, the Masonic Lodge, with its excellent acoustics and low-set stage, proved the perfect place to see one of music's rising artists. Despite the nearly unbearable heat generated by the sold-out, standing room-only crowd, Lissie offered a breath of fresh air as she made her way through the crowd and to the stage to the beat of Cali Swag District's "Teach Me How To Dougie," evidence of Lissie's diverse taste in music.
Decked out in a sparkly sequin jacket and strapped with her trusty Fender Telecaster, Lissie thanked the crowd for being there before kicking off her set with "The Habit," a rhythmically catchy tune that speaks to the difficulty of breaking bad habits in bad relationships. The song will hopefully be featured on Lissie's forthcoming album, due later this summer.
Despite being casually familiar with Lissie's music, it was difficult to tell the old songs from the new ones as each performance was delivered with such ease and confidence, making it seem as though she'd been playing them all for years. Highlights included the free-spirited "Little Lovin'" (from her 2010 debut album Catching A Tiger), which ended with a stellar solo from bassist Lewis Keller (who was also pulling double duty on drums) and Lissie's crying chants that motivated the audience to stomp and clap along.
Lissie's rock and roll chops were showcased on the edgy recently released single "Shameless," which she revealed was written to let off some steam on "stuff I was pissed off about." The lyrics were simple yet believable as she howled, "I don't want to be famous/If I have to be shameless." It was clear Lissie practices what she preaches as she led into "Shroud," an unreleased song she wrote a few years ago when she "legitimately felt like I was losing my mind." She's transparent, authentic, shameless, and undoubtedly talented.
A humorous point in the night came after Lissie's "final performance" when the band was supposed to leave the stage to return for an encore, except the small venue afforded them no place to go, so they casually stepped down and made their way back through the audience, only to return again. The encore began with "Oh Mississippi," an ode to Lissie's upbringing that's steeped in classic folk sensibilities.
Before thanking the audience again for selling out the show so fast, she reminded us all to never stop believing as she performed her rocking cover of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit Of Happiness." As she sang, "Tell me what you know about dreamin', dreamin,'" I couldn't help but think Lissie knows a lot about dreaming, and she seems to be living out hers right now.
"When I'm Alone"
"They All Want You"
"Further Away (Romance Police)"
"Everywhere I Go"
"Pursuit Of Happiness" (Kid Cudi cover)
To catch Lissie in a city near you, click here for tour dates.