Sharon Van Etten released her fantastic new album, We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong on Friday (order on marbled smoke vinyl), and to celebrate, she played a surprise last minute release show at Union Pool. They started giving out free wristbands for the intimate show at 4 PM, and it wasn’t long until they were gone. The set also streamed live on YouTube, and you can watch the full video below.
Sharon talked onstage about her history with the venue, which has a reputation as a hook-up spot and which was one of the old haunts that she paid tribute to in the video for “Seventeen.” She reminisced on going dancing there with a friend, and being a wallflower smoking cigarettes on the side instead of participating, until over time she learned to stop giving a fuck what people thought. This led into We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong standout “Mistakes,” which she encouraged people to dance to, saying she wanted to see our moves even if they were weird or awkward.
Weird and awkward definitely aren’t descriptors for her stage presence, though. Sharon really began to embrace the role of dynamic frontwoman as she put down her guitar more touring 2019’s excellent synth-driven Remind Me Tomorrow, and from Friday’s show it’s clear she’s leveled up again, stalking the stage and leaning into her bandmates (who include Lou Tides, aka former TEEN leader Teeny Lieberson, on synths) and the crowd. She addressed the weirdness of learning to “just sing” onstage too, and still played guitar on a few songs.
Friday night’s show focused mainly on the new album, but Sharon did play a few songs from Remind Me Tomorrow too, including “Seventeen,” which ended the main set. She sang part of it directly to a woman in the crowd, holding her hand, and had quite a few people wiping tears from their eyes. She and her band came back out to perform “Far Away” for the encore, another set highlight, which featured a gorgeous duet between Sharon and Lou Tides to finish the song.
See pictures from the whole night, and the setlist, below.
Sharon will be back in NYC this summer on her tour with Angel Olsen and Julien Baker to play two much bigger shows, at SummerStage in Central Park on August 20 and 21.
SETLIST: SHARON VAN ETTEN @ UNION POOL, 5/6/2022
No One’s Easy to Love
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