Grace Mitchell brings her genre-bending tunes to Moroccan Lounge

Few people blend pop and rock as seamlessly as Grace Mitchell, and the crowd at downtown Los Angeles’ Moroccan Lounge got a first-hand look.

Probably like everyone who first encountered Mitchell with the “NoLo” video I’ve been a bit obsessed with her singing ever since. Stylistically adventurous with her musical directions, it’s always been that deep characteristic voice that tied things together through a panoply of genres. Going into the Moroccan Lounge on Wednesday for my first time seeing her play live I was curious how that all translates to the stage. Can the indie fun of 2015’s “NoLo” really go in the same set as the 80’s tinged electro pop of “Now” and the latest anthemic banger “Riiich”?

The answer is yes. With a three-piece band backing her up, Mitchell tore through her set with an explosive energy that had the crowd bouncing from the start. Her voice is as extraordinary live as it is recorded. The songs all flowed naturally into each other and the breaks were brief. She introduced “Riiich” by talking about its pirate-themed music video, which was filmed not very far from the Moroccan, I think?

She thanked the crowd numerous times for being there. As the set neared its end it was made clear that an encore would only occur if the applause after the last song was exceptional. I’m all for these kind of instructions because everyone has been slacking with the “bring on the encore” applause lately. And I always want an encore. And usually it’s just me and three other people clapping and “Woo”-ing. Maybe the newest generation of concertgoers is just not into the encore process? Or they don’t know about it? Anyway, the set concluded with “NoLo” and it was awesome, so fun, so electric.

After uproarious applause from the crowd Grace and band returned to the stage for a few more songs for the encore and then they were off and I think she spent the next hour at least meeting friends and fans in the bar and hanging out and taking photos. And hopefully selling merch, and getting rich.

Mitchell is among a bevy of talented young female pop singers and songwriters that can sling a guitar as well as she can write a catchy hook. The 20-year-old is just beginning what I expect to be a bright and long career, and it won’t be long before she’s headlining venues much larger than the Moroccan Lounge.

Photos by Tim Aarons

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