Pickathon, Pickathon 2013

Pickathon 2013: Sharon Van Etten

Colette Pomerleau / August 10, 2013
Sharon Van Etten. All photography by Colette Pomerleau.
Sharon Van Etten. All photography by Colette Pomerleau.

Sharon Van Etten‘s performances at Pickathon this year were very significant, as they were her last performances of the year. Once unveiling that piece of news, the mood shifted to a more saddened state, making the entire experience bittersweet. She frequently conversed with the audience in between songs, displaying a desire to make a true connection with fans. In the midst of a dramatic ending, she broke the tension by commenting on a smile worn by an audience member and how distracting it was to play while noticing. She frequently teased about mistakes she had made while playing, unidentified by most of those listening. She gave insight on inspiration to her songwriting, a vocalized journal entry via festival performance. It was easy to get lost in her humble and authentic presence.

Sharon Van Etten. All photography by Colette Pomerleau.
Sharon Van Etten. All photography by Colette Pomerleau.

If you focus on her singing, you’re able to detect the amount of power and control she holds in it. At the same time, there is a distinct amount of emotion, specifically hurt and angst fueling the phrases and crooning. Everything is worn in her facial expressions. Reservations are inexistent, as there is no guard up to show. The brave vulnerability attached lets listeners onto an entirely new fascination. Her band included incredibly talented musicians, which added to the magnetism. Heather Woods Broderick, a Portland-based musician, added haunting backing vocals.

Sharon Van Etten. All photography by Colette Pomerleau.
Sharon Van Etten. All photography by Colette Pomerleau.

“One Day” recollected Fleetwood Mac tunes, and had been requested by a fan after Sharon Van Etten’s first performance at the festival. Her follow through with performing it definitely pleased the masses. Darker choices, such as “Don’t Do It” stimulated thoughts about common experiences we all have, and the suffering we experience together. Her lyrics are impelling and the music attached is addicting. The set ended with new song influenced by a town in Spain. The imprint left an intense anticipation for she will release in the future.

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