By Rachel Giordano
“For my first act, I will tune my guitar. Always fun. Sounds cooler when violinists do it,” said Lydia Loveless as she took the stage at the Lyceum at Pensacola State College (PSC) on Friday, September 28.
Loveless is a 28-year-old singer-songwriter from Columbus, Ohio. Her cool, soothing voice and calm demeanor set the intimate Friday night performance off right. She walked out on stage with confidence and backed it up with her soft ballads and laid-back style.
Loveless signed with Bloodshot Records in 2012 and has been making records since she was fifteen. She has released four albums, and in 2014, she recorded her breakout album titled, “Somewhere Else.” The album was praised by Rolling Stone magazine that called it “an aching, lusty set of twang and sneer wrapped in electric guitar swagger.”
In 2016, she released her album, “Real.” The name of the album is also the name of the 10th track and, was the second song she performed.
“I am more afraid of you than you are of me,” Loveless said to the audience.
A band sometimes accompanies Loveless, but for this show, she was solo––her acoustic guitar and vocals were the perfect tone for a relaxing night of music.
Loveless had a knack for having a soothing quality to her voice, but when the moment warranted, she could belt out a pitch-perfect note that was sure to get your attention. Her blond hair protruded from a black toboggan, and her white and rose-patterned dress enhanced the tattoos on her upper-right arm, one tattoo being John Merrick, a.k.a. the Elephant Man. She has always admired him, and the tattoo is a reminder of “how worse things can be.”
Her musical style is varied––a composition of folk, punk, and country. She was graceful as she asked, “so what do you do for fun in Pensacola?” before embracing the crowd with the haunting lyric, “give me just a little bit longer to get over you.”
Not only did she perform her own music, Loveless also performed a cover of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry.” One might claim her version was even better than his. She did not hold back as the auditorium was engulfed with her wide range of vocals.
Loveless played from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. After the hour set, she gracefully walked off stage only to return one minute later for a 30-minute encore. She was very accommodating, as she performed requests from the audience.
Loveless has toured with artists such as Jason Isbell, Drive-By Truckers, Iron and Wine, Old 97s, Scott H. Biram, and the Supersuckers.