Concert Review: Lizz Wright Dazzles at NYC's Highline Ballroom

Share this article

    (September 11, 2015) I have attended live performances for 40 plus years across many genres of music.  I've seen several of the "greats" in their prime. But I have never, ever witnessed a live performance the likes of which Lizz Wright and her band delivered on September 10th at the Highline Ballroom in New York City.   It was an exceptional evening of moving, beautifully rendered music. 

    Promoted as the CD release show for her new record Freedom & Surrender, Lizz lifted the crowd from her opening number "Walk With Me Lord," and the energy and excitement never subsided, even during her ballads.  Hers is perhaps the finest, warmest, most compelling voice of her generation.  Her band is a group of virtuosos playing in the pocket and enjoying every minute of supporting her. 

    (September 11, 2015) I have attended live performances for 40 plus years across many genres of music.  I've seen several of the "greats" in their prime. But I have never, ever witnessed a live performance the likes of which Lizz Wright and her band delivered on September 10th at the Highline Ballroom in New York City.   It was an exceptional evening of moving, beautifully rendered music. 

    Promoted as the CD release show for her new record Freedom & Surrender, Lizz lifted the crowd from her opening number "Walk With Me Lord," and the energy and excitement never subsided, even during her ballads.  Hers is perhaps the finest, warmest, most compelling voice of her generation.  Her band is a group of virtuosos playing in the pocket and enjoying every minute of supporting her. 

    It's impossible to pick a favorite moment: Her album closer "Surrender" was akin to hearing an exquisite gospel choir at their best; her cover of "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" left not a dry eye in the sold-out house; her track “New Game” was a swampy, hip shakin’ groove fest; and her encore, "Amazing Grace," which she sang a cappella, was the most emotional and nuanced vocal performance I've had the privilege to hear.  It was all so heartfelt, so gracefully delivered, so genuine. 

    There's nothing else to say.  Lizz Wright is just that good: the real deal, a singer's singer, a musician's musician.  Run, don't walk, to get tickets for her remaining tour dates (information available at http://lizzwright.net/).  Highly, highly recommended.

    By Robb Patryk