Sinead O’Connor @ The El Rey 2/20/12

Lights go down, curtain opens, band plays, she glides out onto center stage looking sharp in a black bustier and paint suit, and finally Sinead’s voice flows forth into our eager ears and hearts. She opened with Take Off Your Shoes from her new album How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? She sang straight through two more songs, which thankfully included The Emperor’s New Clothes, before she began to open up to us with a little banter. She incessantly teased she would make an inappropriate joke and was proud of herself that she hadn’t yet. But the audience pleaded and she obliged by sharing with us that when she first met her husband she told him she had a penis. And with this, all were satisfied with some inappropriate storytelling.

The set continued on with new songs with great titles like The Wolf is Getting Married, Queen of Denmark, and I Had a Baby but of course there was the hit, and no matter how many times we’ve heard it before we anxiously awaited to hear it again, this time LIVE! But playful Sinead was so joyful she told us she needed to bring the celebration down a notch and tried to compose herself as she joked, “ok, this next one is very, very serious,” and then broke out into that unforgettable first line “It’s been seven hours and fifteen days.” Nothing Compares 2 U still had its ability to open the floodgates of emotion.

Sinead’s voice, the one full of passion, angst and love, hit its peak in Jackie. Bouncing up and down, giving us everything she had, we felt it and loved it. It made no difference if we were familiar with the new songs or not, we were there to see the woman with the voice. Sinead showed us she is more than just a pretty shaved head up to controversial antics. She’s a woman on fire, exuding pure joy with a mature sense of gratitude for life and love. And in turn, we left the night with that same sense of appreciation, knowing we had seen a living legend.

Trisha Velez

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