Joanna Newsom

From the menacing strains of concert-opener "Emily," to the kaleidoscopic patches of Americana found within "Monkey & Bear," up through the dizzying finale, "Cosmia," Newsom commanded the audience's unflinching attention.

With:
Band: Joanna Newsom, Ryan Francesconi, Neal Morgan, Lila Sklar, plus orchestra, conductor, Sean O'Loughlin.

The first portion of harpist Joanna Newsom’s set was dedicated to a complete reading of 2006’s “Ys,” the masterful arrangements by Van Dyke Parks given a lush treatment by a 28-piece orchestra lead by Sean O’Loughlin. From the menacing strains of concert-opener “Emily,” to the kaleidoscopic patches of Americana found within “Monkey & Bear,” up through the dizzying finale, “Cosmia,” Newsom commanded the audience’s unflinching attention. “Ys” and its performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall is one of those events or happenings in a generation that simply breaks free from the strictures of time and, with near-immediate precision, injects the arts with a vital new mode of thought and expression.

As her tiny arms pulsated and plucked a massive wood-carved harp, her once rough-hewn voice warmly surrounded each complex lyrical turn of phrase. She contorted her face and quivered, rattling her body as if to shake forth all of the songs’ allegorical complexity, creating an almost transcendent form of communication with the audience. With songs as densely worded and musically demanding as the ones found on “Ys” (the compositions average roughly 11 minutes in length), the concert hall setting provided an ideal environment from which to individually digest the music’s labyrinthine construction.

In the coming years, 15-minute tone poems will probably not become the era-defining trend in pop music, but “Ys,” with its depth and musical splendor, will doubtlessly be marveled at well into the future.

An intermission followed the conclusion of “Ys” and the performance’s second segment consisted of brilliant reinterpretations of older material as well as a solo rendition of one untitled new song. A trio of additional musicians, lovingly referred to as the Ys Street Band, supported Newsom for both sets and added carefully chosen musical footnotes to each composition — most exquisitely on songs from her debut “The Milk-Eyed Mender.”

Joanna Newsom

Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles; 2,265 capacity; $55 top

Production: Presented by Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. and KCRW. Reviewed Nov. 9, 2007.

Cast: Band: Joanna Newsom, Ryan Francesconi, Neal Morgan, Lila Sklar, plus orchestra, conductor, Sean O'Loughlin.

More Scene

  • LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 22:

    SZA Holds Nothing Back in Second Show Since Vocal Injury Scare

    The first portion of harpist Joanna Newsom’s set was dedicated to a complete reading of 2006’s “Ys,” the masterful arrangements by Van Dyke Parks given a lush treatment by a 28-piece orchestra lead by Sean O’Loughlin. From the menacing strains of concert-opener “Emily,” to the kaleidoscopic patches of Americana found within “Monkey & Bear,” up […]

  • 'SORRY TO BOTHER YOU'

    Why 'Sorry to Bother You' Director Boots Riley Thinks His Satirical Comedy Is 'Realistic'

    The first portion of harpist Joanna Newsom’s set was dedicated to a complete reading of 2006’s “Ys,” the masterful arrangements by Van Dyke Parks given a lush treatment by a 28-piece orchestra lead by Sean O’Loughlin. From the menacing strains of concert-opener “Emily,” to the kaleidoscopic patches of Americana found within “Monkey & Bear,” up […]

  • Tesse Restaurant Opens on L.A.'s Sunset

    Tesse Restaurant Takes on the Challenge of Making the Sunset Strip Hip Again

    The first portion of harpist Joanna Newsom’s set was dedicated to a complete reading of 2006’s “Ys,” the masterful arrangements by Van Dyke Parks given a lush treatment by a 28-piece orchestra lead by Sean O’Loughlin. From the menacing strains of concert-opener “Emily,” to the kaleidoscopic patches of Americana found within “Monkey & Bear,” up […]

  • Tiffany Haddish

    MTV Movie and TV Awards: The 10 Standout Moments

    The first portion of harpist Joanna Newsom’s set was dedicated to a complete reading of 2006’s “Ys,” the masterful arrangements by Van Dyke Parks given a lush treatment by a 28-piece orchestra lead by Sean O’Loughlin. From the menacing strains of concert-opener “Emily,” to the kaleidoscopic patches of Americana found within “Monkey & Bear,” up […]

  • Michael B. Jordan

    'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Reign at 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards (Full List)

    The first portion of harpist Joanna Newsom’s set was dedicated to a complete reading of 2006’s “Ys,” the masterful arrangements by Van Dyke Parks given a lush treatment by a 28-piece orchestra lead by Sean O’Loughlin. From the menacing strains of concert-opener “Emily,” to the kaleidoscopic patches of Americana found within “Monkey & Bear,” up […]

  • Brandon Flynn, Timothy Granaderos, Alisha Boe,

    Alisha Boe Says Brock Turner Case Was Her 'Bible' for '13 Reasons Why' Season 2

    The first portion of harpist Joanna Newsom’s set was dedicated to a complete reading of 2006’s “Ys,” the masterful arrangements by Van Dyke Parks given a lush treatment by a 28-piece orchestra lead by Sean O’Loughlin. From the menacing strains of concert-opener “Emily,” to the kaleidoscopic patches of Americana found within “Monkey & Bear,” up […]

  • Yara ShahidiMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    Yara Shahidi, Noah Schnapp, More Talk the Dangers of Social Media at MTV Awards

    The first portion of harpist Joanna Newsom’s set was dedicated to a complete reading of 2006’s “Ys,” the masterful arrangements by Van Dyke Parks given a lush treatment by a 28-piece orchestra lead by Sean O’Loughlin. From the menacing strains of concert-opener “Emily,” to the kaleidoscopic patches of Americana found within “Monkey & Bear,” up […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content