Going into Nashville-based artist Liz Longley’s show at Denver’s Soiled Dove Underground, I knew to expect a talented songwriter with a captivating voice; what I didn’t expect was immediately getting kicked out of the venue.
I will admit, that sounds much more scandalous than it was, as my outside energy drink wasn’t allowed in. Once we got over that hurdle, we met the next interesting part of the evening, which was the gentleman next to me and my photographer, Hana Oden, who would not stop asking us what we were doing, as if the camera and journal weren’t indicative. Thankfully, before too long, the lights dropped and we were graced by the presence of the main event- Liz Longley herself.
Being her first tour since the release of her 2020 album, Funeral for My Past, the show was chock full of new, exciting material.
A crowd that, from my understanding, typically sings along, was stunned silent. From the instant Longley began singing, she had the audience hanging on every last word, whether in song or sharing anecdotes. She kicked off her set with, “Send You My Love”, a song from the new record with an interesting co-write credit; the bridge, “I want you and me and you and me together,” was written by seven year old, Rylee Jane Klein, whom Longley met while writing the song.
While the entirety of Longley’s set was dazzling, a few of my favorite songs included “Fine” and “Get to Know Someone”, which, despite being breakup songs, could not be more different. Early in the show, Longley, who recently got married, said playing breakup songs was quite strange considering – and of course, there was emotional power in her sad songs, but in her song, “Heart of a Child”, there was an unmatched level of raw passion.
Written before she met her husband, the tender ballad ponders the kind of pure love Longley sought after; when I looked over at Hana, she was crying – a true testament to the level of talent in Longley’s songwriting.
Another favorite of mine was “Memphis”, which had a bit more attitude than her other tracks.
This song was perhaps the greatest highlight of her vocal prowess and had me entirely awe-struck. Her ability to utilize all parts of her voice in a single song is astonishing, and to do it with the emotionality she has in her performances takes it a step further.
Longley will be back on tour starting in August, with shows nearly carrying her through the duration of the year. For readers in Tennessee, she’ll be at Arts Avenue in Chattanooga on October 9th; in a mere hour and a half, this delightful singer-songwriter will take you through almost every human emotion (I give the credit of fear to the door-woman), and leave you with tons of songs to add to your breakup playlists – that being said, Liz Longley is not one to miss.
All photos by Hana Oden