Angel Olsen The Mod Club, Toronto ON, June 20

Angel Olsen The Mod Club, Toronto ON, June 20
Photo: Shane Parent
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It takes a special artist to recover from forgetting their own lyrics, especially from a song that documents the disintegration of its protagonist's hopes and dreams. Yet Angel Olsen, standing onstage alone with just her guitar, managed this very feat as the words to "Unfucktheworld" escaped her. Undeterred, she laughed and asked the crowd for help. The resulting sing-along proved to be the highlight of her heart-warming solo performance.
 
For someone so adept at documenting heartbreak, Olsen is surprisingly upbeat. Constantly smiling and making jokes in between songs (on wearing a dress onstage: "I feel like I'm on a date with you guys"), her performance turned the packed Mod Club into an intimate experience for all involved. Leaving the band at home, she worked through selections from last year's rightfully lauded Burn Your Fire for No Witness, bathed in light and tossing in a seemingly incongruous cover of Roky Erickson's upbeat "For You (I'd Do Anything)" as well as Bruce Springsteen's "Tougher than the Rest."
 
Though a full band would have been a nice addition, especially for fans of the new record's more rock-friendly selections, not to mention pacing, during her 40-minute set. But Olsen doesn't need a band to get her point across. Armed with just a guitar, a smile and a handful of heartbreakers, Angel Olsen charmed the pants off of Toronto.