Last week, before Nick Cave debased the Schnitz, his former touring partner, Sharon Van Etten, spent two nights bumming out the Doug Fir. Actually, despite the somber nature of her songbook—and in particular her most recent record, Are We There, an album mostly about the heartbreak of being a touring artist—the shows weren't that depressing. How could they be, really, coming from a performer as charming as Van Etten? In between devastating numbers like "Break Me" and Are We There centerpiece (and set closer) "Your Love Is Killing Me," the singer joked about peanut butter ice cream and her own propensity for moroseness. "Here's another positive jam," she quipped at one point. At times, the set blurred into a single swirling, mid-tempo storm, but old favorites like "Don't Do It" remain undeniably powerful.
Here's what it looked like.
All photos by Colin McLaughlin.