Olivia Jean rocked NYC’s Mercury Lounge last week in support of her latest full-length, Raving Ghost (Third Man Records) that was released on May 5th. Her third solo album, it continues and builds on the sound Jean has developed as a solo artist as well as her work with The Black Belles, that perfect marriage of garage, goth, surf, and punk rock that she first started writing and recording back in her Detroit days and later perfected in Nashville.
Whether by design or pure coincidence, Mercury Lounge set the tone with all red lighting to kick off the show which added to the goth rock feel with Jean’s trademark bouffant in silhouette. From the first strum of set opener “Ditch” from Ghost, with its surf tones and B-52’s reminiscent keyboards, the band was in full swing. From there they rocked through a set that revisited older hits like “Shut Your Mouth,” “The Wrong Door” (The Black Belles), “Green Honeycreeper,” and “Rhinestone.” And of course, new songs like “Spider,” title track ‘Raving Ghost,” “Trouble,” and a rocking cover of Enya’s “Orinoco Flow.”
Backed by a tight band, Jean was having a great time whether feeding off the bass lines and beats or off shredding on her own. Despite some sound glitches that persisted throughout the first half of the set, she never lost her cool and rolled with the punches. I’m sure having an NYC crowd that was all in and there to rock didn’t hurt, and by mid-set the sound was solid and they really let loose.
With the album out less than two weeks and the tour just getting underway, I’m hoping there will be more chances to catch Jean and crew in the NY tri-state area. And if this show rolls into your town make sure to grab a ticket, and check out Raving Ghost.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)