On The List :: Erika Spring @ Mercury Lounge [8.15.12]

(Editor's Note: This review runs live and first on the Bowery Presents House List. And also the above photo is not from last night's show because this publication's high tech photography equipment makes this publication's phone restart when you try to take a shitty cell phone picture.) 

You have never seen the Mercury Lounge stage this empty. Two figures, a furtive blonde and her lanky male guitarist took the stage with no drum kit, no loop pedals; amplifiers pushed back against the wall. The famous THIS IS NOT AN EXIT sign looked something approaching lonely as Erika Spring, of Au Revoir Simone, slid to the stage. Spring, née Erika Spring Forester, would later admit it was a challenge touring behind a five-song EP. “It’s hard to fill up the space,” she said as her carefully curated crowd chuckled in kind. It was exactly this sort of set, a bit spacious, empty even, and a bit full of Spring’s restless and beckoning alto breakdowns.

Spring opened with “Happy at Your Gate,” a song that features her buried and beautiful voice. Next she rolled into promotional single “Hidden,” off her self-titled EP. It was her best song and the most well known. Of course, given her anxiety about filling the set list, it was unsurprising she played a Eurythmics cover, “When Tomorrow Comes,” with the kind of eponymous chorus that absolutely ripped through the heart of those in the weeknight audience, both begging to get home to sleep and hoping they wouldn’t have to go to work.

The night closed with “Six More Weeks,” with Spring in her zebra-patterned tank top and leopard-patterned cardigan, a mix of animalistic cross tracks that only half betrayed the slow jams slipping from the public address system. Laughing, Spring called one song in the middle of the show her “’90s prom song,” before smiling wryly and moving on. It was sparse, to be sure, but Erika Spring is something to behold—knobby knees, the kind of woman who sailed a thousand music blogs if nothing else.

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