SHOW REVIEW: Snail Mail delivered a fantastically emotional set at Zanzabar 7/25

Snail Mail‘s Lindsey Jordan has had one of the most impressive come-ups in recent memory. A year ago, the 19-year-old Marylander was finishing up high school. Today, she boasts one of the most acclaimed indie rock records of the year. Her debut album Lush features a remarkably impressive array of poignant and insightful songs, especially for one so early in their career. Jordan’s performance at Zanzabar Wednesday night was proof that she is, indeed, the real deal, with plenty of room for growth.

For someone very new to touring, Jordan took to the stage like a natural. She managed to gesture to the sound booth for fixes between lines, tune her guitar between songs, and keep cool and casual throughout. A few stumbles here and there, coupled with brief winces on Jordan’s face didn’t hinder the show in the slightest, rather adding to the unique experience of watching a young talent adapt to performing. She noted how a tweet calling out how long it took her to tune at an earlier show deeply bothered her, and as a result, she played out of tune for a good portion of the show. I have no doubt she’ll be able to shake off shit like that with time.

“Even through live performance, it’s clear that Jordan’s songwriting pulls from an emotional well that many musicians twice her age haven’t even begun to explore.”

Jordan’s set was understandably short, considering she only has the one record, but thoroughly satisfying. The show hit the ground running with an opening jam session of highly distorted, kick-ass guitar effects courtesy of Jordan. The biggest hits from her latest record, like “Pristine” and “Heat Wave,” were played of course, as well as “Thinning,” an excellent lo-fi tune from her debut EP. A closing performance of “Anytime” during which Jordan herself admits she had to keep herself from crying beautifully capped the hour-long show.

Even through live performance, it’s clear that Jordan’s songwriting pulls from an emotional well that many musicians twice her age haven’t even begun to explore. She’s still learning, still getting used to stage life, and still a teenager, but she’s already miles ahead. Her performance Wednesday night, apart from being a great show in its own right, served as a unique look into a young talent finding her footing. Whether it be by dropping the next great indie record, or transitioning from the bar headliner to festival headliner, I can’t wait to see what’s down the road for her.

Check out a video taken by YouTube user Zachary Culbertson below:

This review was written by Aaron Hartley, a freelance journalist local to Louisville. When he’s not making coffee for a living, he’s staying on top of all things culture, from music to film. You can check out more of his writings here.