Live Review: Aurora @ Lincoln Theatre — 6/5/22

Aurora captivates at the Lincoln Theatre on June 5, 2022. (Photo by David LaMason)

Aurora deftly mixes the sense of Norwegian folk melodies with electronic sounds that pack a range of emotions in these small boxes.  It’s hard sometimes to wrap one’s head around the impossibly strong voice coming from the figure on stage, but it’s real and has the ability to move a room full of listeners with its power.

Returning to the Lincoln Theatre Sunday night, Aurora once again showed us what we’ve all been missing the last few years. Even before the the doors to the theater opened there was a line from the sold out venue that wrapped across U Street and up the next block — something I hadn’t witnessed in a long time — as fans, some dressed in costume, eagerly made the slow march inside.

Showcasing much of her most recent album, The Gods We Can Touch, which was released in January, Aurora, backlit by a huge round disc on stage, took the stage on June 5 and raised her arms to welcome everyone as everyone able to got to their feet in the seated, sold-out theater.

Right off the bat, Aurora and her band started on a very ethereal version of “The River,” eschewing the electronic beats of the record for washes of sound and a chorus that propelled the song forward.  Taking a few minutes to talk to the crowd, Aurora mentioned that this show was the last stop on their tour but she was filled with emotion.  “It’s kind of beautiful and spiritual to see all your faces and share all of these emotions,” she said, before starting on “Runaway,” a song that is very much about running away with one’s emotions rather than keeping them bottled up in.

And this was a capacity crowd that was here to participate in that experience, shouting back the refrain to “Warrior” and calling out, “we love you,” in between songs.

“This next song I want to dedicate to Our Bodies, Our Choice,” Aurora stated before starting on the newest single, “The Woman I Am,” from The Gods We Can Touch. With the synchopated sticcatto of “Expectations, obligations draining the beauty that you got / Complicated, it’s getting to be happy with the who you are… I found the only woman I need to love,” a song that has become, as Aurora has said in interviews, “an ode to feminine divinity” and that sense of existing for yourself.

Experiencing an Aurora performance is definitely a something that creates and celebrates losing one’s self in feelings. She told the audience, “you become truly divine when you love and learn to be loved.” There’s a melancholy nature in the music, but there’s also a letting go and learning to enjoy what’s around you — and echoing across the theater that feeling was joy and an appreciation of being in a crowd of strangers, brought together for a brief time in one mutual sensation. And the stage, with its smoke and foredrops of waves created a striking visual that further enhanced a sense of wonder and excitement.

Watch the official music video for “Giving In To The Love” by Aurora on YouTube:

Having the lights come up on the audience, Aurora marveled at the love from the crowd and as she spoke several in the crowd brought up gifts and flowers (and even a home-made Aurora doll) to the point where she sheepishly apologized for holding up the show. “It’s so nice to have these days, and months, and times that we’ve fought for and who would have thought we would have to fight so hard to be who we are.”

A stalwart advocate for nature and people’s role in protecting it, Aurora told the crowd “I’m very connected to the earth, as you know. I took off my tiny socks — fuck you socks” as everyone laughed. But all joking aside, as she started in on “The Seed,” you could hear the call for more with the lines “You cannot eat money / When the last tree has fallen / And the rivers are poisoned.”

And that passion also gave way to exuberance! “For this next song I want us all to really celebrate once again Pride Month because love is a human right” as the band started slowly into “Queendom” from Aurora’s second EP, as Aurora danced from one edge of one side of the stage to the next, getting everyone up and out in the aisles. And while Aurora ended her set with fan favorite, “Running with the Wolves,” she came back out for the theme of the evening, “Giving In to the Love,” for the encore.

While Aurora has wrapped up her tour of North America with this stop at the Lincoln Theatre, more can be found on her website.

Setlist:

The River
Runaway
Warrior
The Woman I Am
A Dangerous Thing
Exist for Love
Heathens
Blood in the Wine
The Seed
Queendom
Cure for Me
Running With the Wolves

Encore:
Giving In to the Love

Here are more photos of Aurora performing at the Lincoln Theatre on June 5, 2022. All photos courtesy and copyright David LaMason.

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