Courtney Barnett knows how to shred. Her smokin’ guitar riffs hearken 70s psychedelia yet still feel fresh – the way she plays with squeal-y feedback on hit song “Avant Gardener” is a perfect example of how she adds her own flair to the classic sound. Live at Mercury Lounge this past Friday, Barnett, bassist Andrew Loane and drummer Dave Mundy attacked their music with upbeat aggression and a good-times rock-and-roll vibe, yet the blues was seeped into every moody guitar riff and deep, moaning melody. Barnett nonchalantly wove back-and-forth between a Lou Reed-esque spoken word delivery and raw singing tinged with twang, moving through her quirky, clever lyrics as casually as if she were telling stories to friends. Barnett’s one of those performers gifted with the ability of being genuinely magnetic yet also down-to-earth. The first tune of her encore, an endearing solo guitar and vocal cover, particularly highlighted her ability to create an authentic, intimate moment. Even her banter between songs was winsome. And her simple look – black jeans and t-shirt, thick bangs, and shag hair – was wonderfully refreshing.
Enjoy our pics from the show, and go look her up right now!