One can hardly begin to describe Mary Lambert. Charismatic, witty, charming and immensely talented are a few words that come to mind — but these are just the tip of the iceberg.
I had the pleasure of seeing her perform Wednesday at the A&R Music Bar on Neil Avenue — a rather intimate venue for an artist of her caliber — with a congregation of less than 100.
One might remember Lambert from rapper Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ song “Same Love.” This same song was performed at the Grammys with the assistance of Madonna while couples of various races, ages and sexual orientations were married by entertainer Queen Latifah.
Opener Jillette Johnson’s grunge sound and quirky lyrics further contributed to the feeling of strength in the face of adversity and empowerment given throughout the night.
The most distinct aspect of the concert was the open suitcase next to the merchandise table. In the style of her more well-known anthem — “Secrets” — Lambert requested fans write their secrets on Post-it notes and put them in the suitcase, if they felt comfortable, so that she would be able to read them and form a personal connection.
The concert began with an interesting choice of the heartfelt ballad “When You Sleep,” as concert-goers all around began to cry. Lambert, an admittedly emotional person, said of her shows: “They are safe places, where crying is encouraged. We will laugh and hug and cry together.”
Perhaps one of the better performances of the evening was “So Far Away,” a track off of Lambert’s new album. When describing the strife that this song created for her, she joked that at one point she told the producers to “Just give it to Miley!”
It is clear that her fan base adores her. Michelle Vieira, a fourth-year in drawing and painting, said she admires Lambert for “her raw honesty in her songs and in her stories.”
With powerful messages conveyed in songs such as “Body Love” — about the importance of a positive body image — and “Ribcage” — a slam poetry piece intermingled with the lyrics about her compelling story of trying to overcome rape while being courageous in the face of the media — it is clear Lambert is a talent to watch.