Ladyhawke live in Boston

The expectations I had for my first Ladyhawke show might have been a bit grandiose, but judging from her latest album Anxiety, they were wholly justifiable – but wrong. The ‘don’t-take-shit-from-nobody,’ in-your-face dancehall diva I concocted in my head was fun, but a far cry from the punkier and more subdued performer who commanded the stage. In front of an intimate crowd of about 90 at Brighton Music Hall (it was a Wednesday, after all), the New Zealand native was all nervous smiles as she opened her set with a song off of her self-titled debut album called “Back of the Van.”

As she mixed old with new (“Anxiety,” “Magic,” “Professional Suicide”, “Girl Like Me,” “Black White & Blue”), the audience – which consisted of far-too-wasted men in tank tops – joyfully sang along, danced erratically, and couldn’t be happier to simply be in Ladyhawke’s presence. Even more surprising, her demeanor was frightfully modest. She lent out half smiles when answering hecklers, blushed when obliging requests, and sang as if it were to save her life during her entire set. While my plus one insisted that she was “adorable,” I’ve come to the conclusion that Ladyhawke is a force to be reckoned with – immodestly.

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