Blistering summer heat with unrelenting sunshine set its sights on August in Boise, but a fearless power femme-filled Friday night brought one of the coolest experiences of the summer to The Idaho Botanical Gardens.
Part of the Live on the Lawn series presented by Duck Club, The Wild Hearts Tour, 2022’s 23-date Julien Baker, Sharon Van Etten, and Angel Olsen coast-to-coast (and Canada) adventure, hit stop ten Friday August 5th with opening guest Quinn Christopherson where a healthy summertime crowd was enchanted by a mesmerizing demonstration of songwriting prowess.
Embodying the sentiment, you should never sleep on the opening acts, ever, Quinn Christopherson set the energy for the evening with the honest, stripped-down approach to his sound, calling on the crowd to engage. It says something about an artist’s abilities if they can open for such strong musicians and still leave a lasting impression. Christopherson did just that, but let’s be honest, the evening belonged to the women.
Humbly reflecting on the crowd and tour-mates Julien Baker made it a point to soak up every moment of the experience. Her moody stripped-down tones paired with honest reflection ushered in an authenticity that would carry the evening. Baker drew the attention of the crowd and refused to let go.
Sharon Van Etten’s performance in Boise was precisely what everyone hoped it would be. Carrying an immense weight of a strong musical catalog appeared almost effortless to Van Etten and crew. Translating from record to stage, tracks from her latest release We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong consumed any sense of empty space at the Botanical Gardens and the attention of the attendees equally. Sharon Van Etten appears as natural as natural can be live and gives precisely what anyone could expect (sans an impromptu duet with Josh Homme covering Costello).
Bringing the evening to a close, to everyone’s amazement, was Angel Olsen. We say amazement for two reasons. First, you’d be forgiven to believe Van Etten would close. Secondly, because we use amazement in the fullest definition of the word with no intent of being hyperbolic. Olsen’s latest record Big Time doesn’t convey to stage like you would expect. Frankly, there’s no possible way to achieve what Angel Olsen accomplishes live on record. This is best captured by a moment when the clouds moved in, the wind picked up, and a single spotlight cast an amber hue over Olsen as she proceeded to strike a soul-moving presence that had whispers of Joplin through the crowd.
The Wild Hearts Tour is not a headlining tour, it is a three-part (and guest) experience ever so slightly adjacent to one another, yet insightfully moving on the whole. The Wild Hearts Tour partnered with PLUS1, where $1 from every ticket will go to support people rebuilding their lives after incarceration. There are still ample stops in the tour and we suggest if it comes to your city or town, you make it a point to attend.