Live Review: Lauren Minear at Rockwood Music Hall, N.Y.C.

Material: From the outside, acoustic singer-songwriter Lauren Minear seems to have it all. But they say everyone has a story and Minear shared her thoughtful impressions and experiences in a set that explored themes like motherhood, personal growth, and apprehension about the future. 

   In “Heartbroken,” she recounts struggling with growing pains and grappling with her identity: Do I know you/this face in the mirror/the one that I am looking at now/You look familiar/Not like I remember/ everything’s changed somehow…this brand new person staring back at me/she brings me to my knees/my body hurts/it’s in my eyes/I don’t want to be this tired and wise/from all I’ve learned/ this love’s sublime/leaves me heartbroken. 

   In “Last Generation,” Minear confronts her fears about our ever-increasing fragile existence: Everyboday’s sad these days/worried what the future looks like/…Baby are we gonna make it/Are we the last generation/tell me, tell me, tell me please.

Musicianship: Her voice has a naturally bright sound with solid intonation. She holds back in quieter moments, reserving her fuller voice for the appropriate spots. Occasionally, her guitar playing falters, but it’s not significant since the focus is on the songwriting.

Performance: There was a lot to digest in a 45-minute span, but Minear did a good job of balancing the heavier moments with more uplifting ones, like in “Midnight In Manhattan,” where she re-visits the night she met her husband. Thanks to its catchy chorus and engaging storyline, we experienced another side of her. With a story to complement and set up each song that followed, Minear further endeared herself to the audience. A cover song was considered, but then discarded, an idea she should resurrect. Cutting one or two originals and choosing a song that resonates with her, and is recognizable, further cements an artist with their audience.

Summary: Lauren Minear reaffirms the universality of our complex human condition, and she does it with class and sincerity. As there was an abundance of new material to grasp in a short time, offsetting the originals with a well-known song or two in her genre, will reinforce what people liked with what they remember.

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Photo By Mark Shiwolich