Lady Sovereign

SXSW showcase reviews

Lady Sovereign

Club de Ville, March 20

Beginning 20 minutes late, Lady Sovereign's set initially reigned chaos. The showcase MC tried to keep the crowd energized while Sov's DJ Annalyze spun and scratched, and seven or eight entouragers wandered onstage sipping beers and impatiently signed orders to the sound booth. Suddenly the trademark "S-o-veee" motif burst from the speakers, and the diminutive Lady bounced onstage. Sov seems to have less of a shell than most rappers, which probably increases the risk of nervous breakdowns but also makes for uncommonly emotional performances; witness the explosive energy of the set's second song, "Love Me or Hate Me." Starting out by demanding to see "every single middle finger in the house," Sov roared the song at the top of her lungs, and yet, when she accidentally kicked an audience member, she had the presence of mind to apologize midchorus. Following "Love Me" with two lackluster new tracks, including the Cure-biting "So Human," Sov ramped things up at the close with "Public Warning," which she delivered with ferocious precision. After commanding the audience to mosh, she finished the song, tossed a beer on the crowd, spiked the mic, and exited, leaving it all onstage after only five songs.

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