By Allison Stubblebine
On Oct. 28 and 29, Anna Nalick played to nearly sold-out audiences at the famous jazz club in Times Square, the Iridium.
Opening up Tuesday night’s show was solo act Justin Levinson. His six song set had a fun, quirky vibe, with the addition of harmonica and kazoo to his usual piano and acoustic guitar. The singer admitted to the crowd about being intimidated by New York City, after getting horribly lost on the way to soundcheck and now being on stage at his “bucket list venue.”
Levinson’s songs showed incredible sincerity, with cheeky lines, one discussing forgiving a girl for liking Nickelback.
Nalick started her sixteen-song set with old songs, “Consider This” and “Citadel,” lesser known fan favorites from her first album “Wreck of the Day.” She then followed with new song, “Aura,” which unexpectedly weaves in her love of rap music with quick, precise lyrics and a more soulful melody in the chorus.
The now thirty-year-old singer spoke of her intentions of not letting the industry change her, as she watched her aspiring actor friends change in high school. This was the inspiration behind the song “Catalyst,” off her first album.
Another song, entitled “Knots,” showed off her incredible upper range that was generally absent from her earlier work. The idea for the song came from a song in an old French film, which translated to something along the lines of ‘the whirlwind of life.’ Among the many incredible lyrics are eight Beatles references, she noted.
Before singing a fan favorite, “Shine,” Nalick told the story behind the song, and how it ultimately led her to leaving her record label and manager a while ago. She had written it as a message to a friend who had been experiencing personal troubles, and the label insisted that the story be publicized and used as a promotional tool.
Years later, Nalick now sees the song as a message to herself.
Nalick later showed off her musical theater genes with new song “Hazy Love,” claiming she had ‘an inner gay man that just had to come out.’ Complete with jazz hands and fun, exaggerated piano, the song was a huge hit with the crowd.
Of course, Nalick could not complete the night without playing her platinum hit, “Breathe (2AM).” Although she wrote it nearly twelve years ago, when she was a senior in high school, the song still shows off her incredible lyricism and honest musicianship.
While the song usually closes the show, the audience cheered long after she left the stage. She and her pianist returned to the stage to treat fans to an old favorite, “Forever Love (Digame).”
Anna Nalick should definitely not be thought of as yesterday’s news – her new work is sure to make her a prominent player in the music industry, once again.
Allison Stubblebine is a staff writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org