Last week, Joan Wasser, best known as Joan As Policewoman, kicked of a headlining tour in support of her latest release To Survive. Of the album, Wasser says, “I am always trying to dig deeper into the emotional experience. I want to access the most honest place I can, distill it and present it in a way that makes sense musically.”
The emotional connection Wasser has with her music is clear in her facial expressions as she performs often heart-wrenching songs, many on the new album written in the shadow of her mother’s battle with cancer, which ended in her death last year. The album centers on Joan as piano player and singer as did her performance Friday night. The sweet piano-driven ballads were also countered with tunes in which Joan picked up the guitar and rocked hard with drummer Parker Kindred.
The fiery redhead took to the stage in a shiny purple jumpsuit with a self-embroidered pattern she was proud of and tan suede cowboy boots with fringe that had someone in the audience liken her to Nancy Sinatra. In between random stage banter that drew much laughter from the audience, Wasser held her audience rapt with honest lyrics and intensely emotional vocals that at times reminded me of equal parts Regina Spektor and Thao Nguyen with a sultry tinge of Fiona Apple.
Wasser puts on a gorgeous and emotionally charged show, spiked with humorous banter, that one should not hesitate to see.
Sep 12 – Schubas / Chicago
Sep 13 – Cedar Cultural Center / Minneapolis
Sep 15 – Largo / Los Angeles
Sep 17 – Cafe du Nord / San Francisco
Sep 19 – Doug Fir Lounge / Portland
Sep 20 – Triple Door / Seattlee, Washington
Sep 23 – Iron Horse Music Hall / Northampton, Ma.
Sep 24 – Middle East Upstairs / Cambridge, Ma.
Sep 25 – Bowery Ballroom / New York City