Bat for Lashes
17 April 2013
Wonder Ballroom|Portland, OR
Natasha Khan, better known by her stage name Bat for Lashes, is clearly, by her music alone something of a musical mastermind. Now, months after her third full-length release The Haunted Man, the world is generally catching on that she is a more than well-rounded powerhouse of entertainment and charm.
Bat for Lashes is the kind of music you listen to recorded and can only dream of being duplicated so flawlessly, live. The kind of music where you just don’t believe your brain could comprehend, or any human could recreate all of those marvelous sounds successfully. If you haven’t seen her live and think Bat for Lashes on an album is amazing, clear some space in your brain to accept a live performance that makes her music sound and feel 700 times more amplified. She and her band of very-worthy musicians did just that this week at Portland, Oregon’s Wonder Ballroom.
Floating onto the stage, Natasha’s warm, adorable smile and friendly eyes won the crowd over instantly. They kicked off with the explosive song “Lillies,” the counterpart intro to The Haunted Man. Swaying like a ballerina around the microphone, Natasha vocally seduced the crowd, a single drumstick in hand waiting to pound a tiny synth board into powerful choruses. The next few songs showcased the effortless beauty of Natasha’s stunning vocals. Before moving across stage to a piano, she thanked the crowd and adorably addressed the heat of the venue, not boding well with her “tapestry dress.” Her English charm was contagious, and sitting down at her piano to roll out the gorgeous ballad “Siren Song,” the crowd reverted to silent awe. This track was inexplicably beautiful, so much so that right before the song’s end, the band suddenly stopped. “I’m sorry, but I just want to make sure everything is okay,” Natasha announced with an air of genuine concern. Someone nearby in the crowd had fainted. Performance was halted until Natasha was assured all was well.
As enchanting vocals continued to mesmerize the crowd, the band plowed through a set of songs from the new record and old. A mixture of wall-vibrating drum beats, cello, a tiny set of hand-held bells, and more traveled dreamlike through “What’s A Girl To Do?” and “Horse and I.” Moving on, “Laura” was undeniably tear jerking, while “A Wall” had the crowd dancing before finishing off with the beautiful “The Haunted Man.” Finishing up the set Natasha clutched tightly onto a PA before holding it above her head while belting out the final gorgeous moments of the song. An encore ending with the most joyous and danciest versions of “Daniel” capped the entrancing evening. If there was anything to learn from this performance, it probably can’t be properly put into words. Bat for Lashes is magical live, a performance that everyone should see at least once in a lifetime. Natasha Kahn is one of the most outwardly sweet, genuine and talented musicians that one may ever be able to see. Please consult her further tour dates to fulfill this.