Snail Mail Shreds Through ‘Valentine’ and More at the Hollywood Palladium: Concert Review

·2-min read

Lindsay Jordan knows her way around a guitar.

On her second album as Snail Mail, last year’s breakthrough “Valentine,” the 22-year-old singer-songwriter delivered sharp hooks and killer riffs packaged in succinct songs of queer heartbreak. The album represented a huge sonic leap for the artist after her relatively restrained 2018 breakout record “Lush,” and during a concert Wednesday at the Hollywood Palladium, she demonstrated her mastery over her instrument of choice.

Jordan entered the stage to a prerecorded track of the “Valentine” centerpiece “Forever (Sailing),” then immediately launched into the album’s opening title track, slowly singing the song’s initial muted verses before segueing into the heavy, fast-moving rock chorus. At the song’s conclusion, she immediately launched into the intro of the album’s second track, the scorching break-up song “Ben Franklin,” combining her guitar work with an addictive synth hook.

Throughout the night, Jordan’s songs ranged from clanking numbers with poppy hooks to slower ballads. One of the highlights saw her three-piece band exit the stage so she could deliver a solo performance of the “Valentine” album track “Light Blue.” “Where are my exes at?” Jordan quipped at one point in the evening, before she launched into the poppy “Valentine” single “Madonna.”

Although the majority of the setlist came from “Valentine,” Jordan also dipped back to songs from “Lush” and her 2016 debut EP “Habit.” After tearing through a lengthy guitar solo in “Heat Waves”, she briefly stopped singing to tell the audience to show some life — and by the climax of the song, most of the crowd was on their feet. “That’s more like it!” she enthused.

However, that wasn’t the evening’s only dramatic moment: Towards the end of “Full Control,” Jordan and her band stopped the set when an audience member fainted. But a paramedic was quickly called, and after a few minutes, they finished the song, and quickly dived into “Headlock” from “Valentine.” As the concert neared its end, Jordan told the crowd, “Thanks for keeping each other safe.”

The concert concluded with two encores: the break-up ballad “Mia,” and her most popular single, “Pristine.” Jordan jokingly introduced it by teasing it as something she’s never performed live. “We figured we’d save it for L.A., this is brand new content,” she told the audience, before eliciting cheers from the crowd who recognized the song’s opening riff. The song quickly turned into a full-throttle sing along, with many people chanting the song’s chorus — “I won’t love anyone else/I’ll never love anyone else” — along with her.

Setlist:
“Valentine”
“Ben Franklin”
“Glory”
“Speaking Terms”
“Heat Wave”
“Automate”
“Madonna”
“Golden Dream”
“Thinning”
“Light Blue”
“Feeling Like I Do” (Superdrag Cover)
“Full Control”
“Headlock”
“Forever (Sailing)”

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