Jeremy Messersmith @ Mercury Lounge, 6/18/11
On Saturday, June 18th, Minneapolis singer/songwriter Jeremy Messersmith, who’s been recognized by both the New York Times and NPR, performed with a full band and string section at Mercury Lounge as part of his East coast tour in support of the first installment of his album trilogy, The Reluctant Graveyard. It was the first time he’d been on the road with a full band since this year’s SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas.
Messersmith has been noted for his ear for melody and resonant lyricism. Although he’s been classified as both an indie power-pop and a chamber-pop player, his album has been called a “concept album about death.” To further complicate matters, I find his musical style rather folky at times.
That night at Mercury Lounge, Messersmith played a rather lengthy set. The whole time, he remained actively engaged with his audience, who would erupt in screams and applause between songs, which served to adumbrate future shows at larger venues. His guitar sounds resonated and sounded crisp in that room of people, who were able to stand very close to the stage and connect very well with Jeremy. The last song of the night, the one entitled “Tatooine,” was introduced as “the song that took ten minutes to write …so of course, it’s the most popular song.”
Overall Messersmith put on a performance that was sweetly engaging and moving.