Love at First Listen: Olivia Jean
Before Jack White hit the stage of the WaMu Theater in Seattle on August 13th, Olivia Jean descended upon us and blessed us with a beautifully sung growl and the kind of good ol' blues this world needs more of.
You never know what you're going to get from an opening act. I've seen a ton of live music over the years, and witnessed every kind of opener from the embarrassingly bad to the pleasant surprises. I've become a life-long fan of certain openers, making it a crucial aspect of the live music experience, in my opinion.
There's something wonderfully enticing about not knowing what's about to happen on stage as the opening band lurks on in the dark. What sound am I about to hear? Am I about to get pissed off that I have to endure a full set of shit from a shitty shit band? Or am I about to have my mind blown?
Olivia Jean blew my mind the second she opened her mouth.
She hit us with some no bullshit rock & roll, classic blues riffs, and a combative rasp to her voice that took no prisoners.
To get a taste of Olivia Jean's style, check out the video below. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take any video of her or Jack White's performances of my own, as the folks at WaMu Theater put every single concert goers' phones in these weird, impenetrable pouches to prevent any filming, per Jack White's no-phone policy on his tour. Honestly, I hope this doesn't become a regular thing bands start doing. I know people get pretty ridiculous about filming shows with their phones - only to get shitty cell phone footage rather than actually experiencing the performance - but this just didn't feel right. What if someone had an emergency, needed to check on their kids, or had some important reason to have access to their phone?
No question, people need to cool it with the cell phone filming, but it felt like we were being stripped of a fundamental right in order to watch Jack White. I'm actually totally on board with his reasoning behind it, but perhaps not the execution of it.
Anyway, I digress. Here's the aforementioned Olivia Jean video. Her style is that of a rockabilly pin-up punk, perfectly coiffed with the voice and attitude of a woman who takes no bullshit.
It wasn't until after the show that I realized that Olivia Jean is the lead singer of the Black Belles, a Third Man Records band that piqued my interest back when they released their album in 2011. If the idea of a band of witches playing rock and roll sounds like something you'd be into (I know I am. Like, in a really big way), check out the video below for not only a great song, but a really cool witchy aesthetic.
So here we go from 60's pin-up B-52s girl Olivia Jean in the video above to goth witch Olivia Jean. If there were ever a case to be made about how fashion and music go hand in hand, Olivia Jean's style changes could be case study.
Olivia Jean really embodies what I consider to be the Moda Misfit girl. She does what she wants with fashion and uses it to convey a story that goes hand in hand with her music. She's unabashedly unique, while also paying various stylistic homages to women who came before her. She's forging her own path in a still male dominated industry, with music and a voice that sounds tough enough to kick any of their asses. She's doing her own thing and doing it well, like any Moda Misfit girl would.
I'll leave you with one last Olivia Jean video, in which she plays a widow gleefully clipping flowers for her husband's grave. Yeah, Olivia Jean is not to be fucked with.
Do you have any good artist recommendations? Tell me in the comments!
Hey there! I’m Steffi, creator of Moda Misfit - a lifestyle blog that aims to inspire you to embrace who you are and express your creative self through decor, fashion, & music. We're all Moda Misfits here!