Molly Burch’s untouched poise on stage could only be matched with her graceful, fragmented vocal delivery, rich with an eclectic dosage of emotions. The Austin-based crooner treated the Bootleg Theater to mostly cuts from her recent album, First Flower, a few older selections, and a truly enchanting performance that left the crowd feeling whimsical. Acting as Burch’s first sold out show, fittingly in Los Angeles, Burch’s nostalgic expression of gratitude hailed back to her original roots in the city. With the opening licks of folk ensemble, Jesse Woods, and the Dodgers pushing on in the warehouse styled portion of the venue, the night seemed to be filled with magic.
Plentifully bestrewn in a beaming wave of confidence, Burch and her band walked on stage to an eager crowd and did not waste a moment before diving into new music. Extracting the album’s sense of worth, self-love, and developing maturity of coming out of “her shell,” Burch went into the album’s titular track, “First Flower.” Echoing the similar romance that Please Be Mine stirred, “First Flower” and its performance found the balance of love without pushing aside her self-love. “Good Behavior” followed and soon Burch’s successful single “To the Boys” gently crept into listener’s ears.
Burch led the crowd with fluid trances, enchanting with each wrist roll. Her halting exasperation and precision of each syllable tucked each word deep against tropical melodies. Not needing to prove her range, as noted in “To the Boys,” ( I don’t need to scream to get my point across / I don’t need to yell to know that I’m the boss), Burch ironically followed-up the assertive track with a cover of Tammy Wynette’s “Stand By Your Man,” as Burch herself noted that the cover was “questionable” and belted each note in a whirlwind of strength. Keeping the original track’s sentiments without the heavy country feel, Burch and her band excelled on this cover and expanded all the waves Burch’s vocals could exhort.
Burch’s hour set saw moments of tenderness, isolation, and even pure joy, somehow capturing the very same magic that made First Flower a standout collection. Primarily on the mic alone, with moments of swinging back to keys, Burch’s effortless display was a hazy dream come true.
Cover photo: Tony Gonzalez, Occlusion Media