Live Review: Emily King – Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Last week, Emily King took the stage for a three-night run at Bowery Ballroom in NYC as the second stop on the Ten Year Anniversary Tour of her debut EP Seven. The Hurricane Ida tropical storm didn’t stop fans from making it out to the show, and here we are living to tell the tale of the first night.

She opened the concert with the serene and mellow “Down” from the Seven EP, which set the mood for the night. The mood she set painted the picture of a soulful peaceful presence, that at any moment without notice can take a jam packed alternative funk turn. Next she played the fan favorite and singalong “Hold Me.” This was followed by a stunning rendition of “No More Room”, another gem from the Seven EP.

For the next song of the night, Emily dusted off her dancing shoes and boogied to a fiery version of “The Switch.” She segued this floor burner into a fun cover of Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately.” After the medley finished she told us “I gotta work on my moves, I been outta the game on my couch!” Next, she picked up her acoustic guitar for “Radio” to wind the energy back into the Seven EP’s serene atmosphere.

Emily began the next song by first telling us that she was “tired of the city, had no money, wanted to leave but couldn’t get a bus ticket so (she) wrote a song.” This brilliant tune was followed by another gem called “Animals” inspired by wanting to complain about people. The funkiest highlight of the night for me was the special bonus track “By You I Mean Me”, from her album The Switch. The guitar jam alone on this song stole the show.

As the end of the set neared, Emily wound down the energy with a peaceful version of “Every Part” another stellar song from the Seven EP. This was followed by the fan favorite sing along “Remind Me” and the classic hit “Georgia.” To close the set Emily performed an energetic “Sleepwalker” and treated us to a monster jam on “Distance” which featured a Fleetwood Mac “Go Your Own Way” tease.

After a roaring crowd begged for more, Emily returned to the stage to turn in a magical version of “Sides”. The very final song of the night was a funky jam “Ever After” written by keyboard player Ethan and his wife. Emily King’s fusion of soul and alternative left us excited for a return to NYC in the future. She is a top live act of current modern music.

Scott J. Herman