Concert Review: LOLO At House Of Blues

Concert Review: LOLO at House Of Blues by Bear

CLEVELAND (Nov 15) – Normally a review of the opening act at a concert would get maybe 1-2 lines to just to touch on the band’s presence at the venue, not much more. This review is a little different as the artist I actually went to see was the opener.

Lauren Pritchard, who performs under the name LOLO, was that opening act. First if you don’t know LOLO you should. The first time I heard her was on Panic! At The Disco’s “Miss Jackson” which featured LOLO on it but that wasn’t her first venture into the music business. She has had a pretty interesting journey.

As a the age of 15, she convinced her mother to move to Los Angeles where she says “I was writing every day non-stop, Just to show them that I was dedicated. It was a huge risk.” After her mother had to return to Tennessee, LOLO stayed and lived with close friend, Riley Keough and her mother, Lisa Marie Presley. At 18, she landed a role in the Tony Award winning Broadway musical “Spring Awakening”, where she originated the character of Ilse which she played for two years. “I had to play this bohemian chick that ran away, I was like, well, that’s pretty true to life.” From there she was able to sign with a major label, Island Records out of the U.K. where she released her first album “Wasted In Jackson” in 2010. Ultimately, this led to performing alongside Fall Out Boy, Matt Nathanson, and Panic! At The Disco on studio recordings.

Jump to 2015 where she has co-written a musical called “Songbird” which just opened off broadway with a great New York Times review, quoting “Powered by a terrific country score by Lauren Pritchard” and she recently released a new EP on Pete Wentz’s label DCD2 titled “Comeback Queen”. In support of that EP, she’s been on tour with Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, New Politics and The Griswolds.

Which brings us here.

She came on stage with no backing band, just guitarist Josh Hoisington (shout out to Josh, really nice job man you brought it) but she quickly showed you don’t need a full band to showcase real talent. The packed house immediately seemed to gravitate towards her when she hit the first notes of the night.

LOLO’s voice has been described as “rough around the edges” but it is much more. It soulful, powerful and much more impressive in person where she is able to let loose. One song that really impressed me and showcased her vocals was “I Don’t Wanna Have To Lie”. The bluesy quality as she sang “I love you, I hate you, I have you, I lose you, I just want someone to love” grabbed you and immersed you into the brutal conversation she was conveying in the lyrics.

The energy level on the stage for the short 20 minute set never waned and it was infectious with the crowd. At the end of the set the audience wasn’t ready for it to be over, they felt the passion she put into her songs and into her performance.

The tour runs through the end of November but I have a feeling the next time we see LOLO in our area, there will be someone opening for her.