Sharon Van Etten, Live In Concert: SXSW 2012 The singer-songwriter practically dared her audience to pipe down as she held long, cooing notes.

Live in Concert

Sharon Van Etten, Live In Concert: SXSW 2012

Sharon Van Etten, Live In Concert: SXSW 2012

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/148474924/148641774" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Staring out across the sea of people crowding an outdoor band shell in Austin, Sharon Van Etten practically dared her audience to pipe down and listen as she held long, cooing notes. She had the guts to trot out tiny delicacies like the spare ballad "Kevin's Way," complemented perfectly by the gorgeous backing vocals of Heather Broderick.

When I saw her at SXSW in 2010, she slunk shyly onstage at a church to tentatively sing breathtakingly fragile songs from her breakthrough album, Because I Was in Love. It's almost impossible to comprehend the transformation she's made since then. At NPR Music's showcase at Stubb's on Wednesday night, she flexed her songs' newfound muscle without obscuring the beating heart and raw nerves that lie beneath. The wounded acoustic material of her first album has given way to "Serpents" (from this year's mesmerizing Tramp), the bracing and caustic rocker with which she closed her performance. With its rigid, driving beat behind her vocals, the song fully captured many of Van Etten's newfound identities: frontwoman, bandleader, stealth rock star.

Credits

Producers: Amy Schriefer, Robin Hilton; Video by: XI Media; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait

Set List

  • "All I Can"
  • "Warsaw"
  • "Give out"
  • "In Line"
  • "Kevin's Way"
  • "Magic Chords"
  • "Leonard"
  • "Serpents"
[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

James Petralli Jessica Hanley/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Jessica Hanley/KCRW

Watch White Denim Perform 'Shanalala'

KCRW

Austin-based band White Denim absolutely tore through its live session on Morning Becomes Eclectic with an energy and swagger that bent KCRW's airwaves.

Ohmme performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on April 18, 2019 (Laura Beltrán Villamizar/NPR) Laura Beltrán Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltrán Villamizar/NPR

Ohmme

These classically trained artists fill the NPR Music offices with shrieking, rhythmic noise that redefines what an electric guitar can do.

Thou performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 9, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Thou

This is probably the quietest you'll ever hear the first metal band to play the Tiny Desk.

Better Oblivion Community Center performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 3, 2019 (Amr Alfky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Better Oblivion Community Center

Tiny Desk alums Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers surprised us all with their stunning collaboration this year as Better Oblivion Community Center. Together they radiate joy at the desk.

Theodore performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Theodore

The music of Theodore is dark and transformative, with the kind of spare elegance you can hear in Sigur Rós or Pink Floyd.

Gary Clark Jr. performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 1, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Gary Clark Jr.

These three songs, from Clark's incendiary new album This Land, roar with the assurance and force of a showman at the top of his game.

Weezer performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 27, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Weezer

Performing unplugged, the band forgoes its usual meticulousness in favor of a shaggy, entirely acoustic mix of new songs and '90s-era deep cuts.

Alejandro Escovedo performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 16, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Alejandro Escovedo

The veteran rocker and a backup band from Italy play songs from their album The Crossing, chronicling an American Dream of rock and roll and Beat poetry.

Back To Top