During Sunday's 9:30 Club show, Lissie made several mentions of having lots of tequila at a previous tour stop and some related misbehaviors. The decidedly Midwestern and likable singer/songwriter, born Elisabeth Maurus in 1982 in Rock Island, Ill., also said that she hoped to limit her alcohol intake on this night to the one shot she downed before hitting the stage. She didn't quite stick to that plan, but by the end of the set, fans could wish she'd have talked less about drinking and/or drunk more.
While singing the original "Here Before," Lissie's raspy delivery recalled a sober Marianne Faithfull. Lissie sounded heavily under the influence of Stevie Nicks on "Everywhere I Go." Of her own material, "Cuckoo" had the most bounce and jangle, as Lissie loosed her three-piece, two-man backup band (Eric Sullivan on guitar and Lewis Keller playing bass and drums simultaneously, carny-like).
Because she's released just one full-length album, Lissie gave equal time to talking as to singing. She urged fans to go on a "Lissie Diet," which calls for dieters to fast and spend their money on Lissie records. (What happened to the starving artist?) And, again, there were the many drinking references. As things turned out, she downed a second and then a third shot of tequila before her encores, with the gusto a guy just rescued from the Sahara might down a Slurpee. As the booze started kicking in, Lissie delivered a meandering but cute address about the importance of acting responsible after drinking, which included a pitch for not ending up with a "bun in the oven."
Then she ended the show with a fantastic cover of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness," a tune celebrating intoxication and irresponsibility. During the night-cap, Lissie danced around with far more abandon than she'd shown earlier in the night and shouted the tune's pro-drunk driving lines with a big smile. That song's performance provided the most, well, intoxicating moments of the night.