Friday night saw Mild Concern at Koko in London to see M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel perform as She & Him. As Deschanel is an actress in both film and TV this is completely relevant to this blog. Honest.
The opening act were a little odd and I for one was glad once their set was over and the main act began with Ward often keeping to the shadows oozing cool while Deschanel skipped and bounced around the stage clearly enjoying herself. Whenever I see footage of the band performing live on TV the vocals never quite match those on the album but this was far from true in their performance on Friday. Deschanel proved herself to be a strong and confident singer, and the master of about one hundred instruments, and when Ward was allowed to sing alone his gruff, low voice was well received.
The set was comprised of a mix of songs from both albums, but sadly none of the songs from Yes Man, and when the more familiar tracks were performed the crowd happily sang along much to the delight and surprise of Zooey. this being their first ever London gig I doubt the band had much of an idea of if anyone had actually heard their music.
The true highlight of the night came at the very end during the second encore when both She and Him were given a cover to showcase themselves at their best. The entire band backed Ward for a high energy rendition of Roll over Beethoven that allowed him to step from the shadows and show everyone what he’s packing; not only an amazing voice but serious guitar playing skills too. For the final song the pair were left alone of stage and Deschanel sang I Put a Spell on You with Ward on guitar. This track needs to be released at Zooey’s vocals have never been so powerful; she was even stamping her foot at times as she held on a note for as long as she could. Suddenly I could see how she became involved in the constantly in development Janis Joplin biopic.
The performance on Friday night demonstrated why She & Him is much more than just an actress experimenting in music; this is a real band that perform amazingly live. If you get the chance then don’t miss seeing their show. Best £15 I ever spent.