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Lights Skin&Earth Acoustic Tour Hits NYC

Skin&Earth Acoustic Tour at Bowery Ballroom

I first discovered Canadian singer/songwriter Lights sometime in mid 2009, thanks to PR maven Kelly Cutrone who worked with Lights on some MTV show at the time. How I discovered Lights is not really important, what is important is what I heard.

What I heard was the singers debut album The Listening, which turns 10 next month. Immediately I looked for tour dates and found she was playing in NYC at a venue called Bowery Ballroom in lower Manhattan. 

Fast forward to ten years later and our paths cross again at that same New York City club in the Bowery. 

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See Lights is currently on tour promoting her newly released Skin&Earth Acoustic album, which was released on July 12th. If you are a fan of the studio album, surely you were looking forward to this record. 

The acoustic record features Lights raw and emotional and even experimental, I would expect nothing less from her. The vocalist experimented with recording these songs in different environments, like in the bedroom, the cab of a truck and even a cliff. This adds atmosphere and dynamic unattainable from just recording in a studio room.

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So of course when Lights returned to Bowery Ballroom, I had to see the singer’s transformation. Lights first and foremost is an artist, she doesn’t invest her time or energy into anything she won’t put 100% into so if she is doing it, it will be good. 

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Lights and her fans have a special relationship, this definitely holds true for her New York fans. The Canadian songstress is big on communicating with her audience on line and meeting them at shows. When she returned to Bowery, the demand was so high she had to play not one but two shows in the same night.

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I caught the late show, opening the night was Tillie. Tillie a singer from Atlanta, who is completely independent and survives off herself and the fans that support her music. Discovered by Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman and hip hop star Machine Gun Kelly, Tillie has been on a steady climb and shows no signs of slowing down with the March 2019 release of her Loud Mouth EP

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Tillie’s performance is fun, usually she has a full band but she is keeping with the acoustic theme for this tour and she does it well. The environment gives Tillie and the fans of Lights a chance to connect and discover each other, although many in NY already knew her which made for fun dialogue throughout the set. 

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Tillie told stories before each song, usually expressing the meanings or empowering the women in the room to be themselves unapologetically. 

She performed her own songs like “Loud Mouth” and “Mood Swings” but also threw in a great cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” which had the crowd singing at the top of her lungs. 

She performed her own songs like “Loud Mouth” and “Mood Swings” but also threw in a great cover of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” which had the crowd singing at the top of her lungs. 

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Lights took to the stage shortly after, the singer all smiles and walking on stage to a roar from the audience she took her seat on a stool and picked up her acoustic guitar. Her first song was the track “Skydiving”, the stage draped in deep red lighting matching the singers hair. 

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As I expected the Skin&Earth Acoustic Tour is not just a girl and her guitar, it’s a full experience which is so refreshing. At times Lights is joined by a band which includes violinist and a cello player and others just her but there’s always a feel to the music, an environment in which is intentionally created to bring the listener to another space during the 19 song performance. 

Sonically the set is beautiful and dramatic, the lighting perfectly sets a tone for each track and in between lights interacts with the audience, at one point in between songs even taking a minute to take a photo with a fan that requested one from the crowd. The stage also features a screen which displays video and moving photos, which enhance the live experience further. 

Now I’ve seen Lights quite a few times, she’s always great to watch, however this was special. Lights vocals are raw, emotional and powerful in a way you can’t quite grasp with a full band, there’s nothing for her to hide behind in the acoustic setting and she proves she doesn’t need to, the songs are great songs but they become something bigger with these new, beautiful arrangements. Even on older songs like “Banner” and “February Air” take on new life within the set. 

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There were moments during the set, where I truly felt like I wasn’t in a concert venue, almost like I was in a trance to the sounds of the music. I don’t think I’ve ever heard music so completely as I did during this show. 

If you’re looking for a show thats, beautiful, different, fun and simply visually stunning without having to use all the bells and whistles. This show is for you, I highly recommend it! If you’re already a Lights fan, you will absolutely love it, if you’re unfamiliar with Lights the show will make you a fan!

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The Skin&Earth Acoustic Tour is still happening for a few more weeks, most dates are sold out but maybe you’ll get lucky and get to see the show. Check out the remaining dates below; Lights also promised something special soon which means if you can’t catch this tour maybe you won’t have to wait too long to see her in the states again. We will keep you posted on all things Lights!

See full gallery of the night here!

Lights Skin&Earth Acoustic Tour Dates:

08.01.2019 Washington, DC U Street Music Hall SOLD OUT

08.03.2019 Atlanta, GA         Masquerade – Heaven SOLD OUT

08.04.2019 Nashville, TN               Basement East SOLD OUT

08.06.2019 Dallas, TX             Granada Theater             SOLD OUT

08.07.2019 Austin, TX                 04 Centre

08.10.2019 Los Angeles, CA Teragram Ballroom           SOLD OUT

08.11.2019 Los Angeles, CA Teragram Ballroom              SOLD OUT

08.13.2019 San Francisco, CA     August Hall

08.15.2019 Seattle, WA             The Showbox           SOLD OUT

08.16.2019 Vancouver, BC   The Vogue

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