Last week Chelsea Wolfe brought her beyond dramatic live show to the Hawthorne Theatre — and I am here to report that her live show is jaw-dropping. Wolfe and her band spent the show appropriately shrouded in dramatic lighting that made them appear as little more than black specters on the stage, wonderfully setting the mood for the beautifully morose music Wolfe traffics in.
Touring behind her excellent recent release Abyss (check out my review of the record here), Wolfe’s setlist was curated wonderfully and featured a perfect mix of tracks from that record and her classics like the breathtaking “We Hit A Wall”. Having never seen Wolfe before, I was intrigued to see how she would hit the amazing notes she reaches on record live, and it was truly something to behold. While her band created an atmospheric sound around her that sounded like the soundtrack to Lars Von Tier’s latest film, Wolfe’s vocals soared above the crashing sounds around her magnificently.
If Portland is typically a very black jeans-centric city, this night was like a Goth fashion show, and it was impossible not to notice how moved so many audience members looked. This feeling was reinforced after the show when Wolfe took the time to meet and greet fans by the merch table and was greeting my awe-struck faces telling her how much her music had meant to them. It was a lovely scene, and (yet another) reminder of the power of music to uplift the soul — even, or especially, music as beautifully dark as Chelsea Wolfe’s. A top notch set.