Concert Review

Ida Maria's Martini Ranch Show is Short and Sweet

If you're worried Ida Maria is the next in a long line of indie princesses to go "pop" the first time some douchey A&R guy suggests it might be a prudent career move, fear not. As she showed last night in Scottsdale, although "I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" may well be headed for mainstream success, this gruff-voiced Scandinavian is not Courtney Love, Gwen Stefani or Liz fucking Phair.

Actually, as indie/punk princesses go, she has more of a Kathleen Hanna vibe than anything, even if her much softer (and much more Swedish) style would render such remarks heresy to those who'd argue that it takes more than Maria's punchy songs and grrrly look -- last night she wore a leopard-print slip with no bra or shoes while playing a white strat, held over her shoulder by a skull-print strap -- to earn the comparison.

Still, playing only eight songs is pretty punk rock, and that's what Ida Maria did last night, walking off stage after less than 45 minutes and not returning though the crowd mustered a few semi-intelligible (and multi-lingual) chants. A little disappointing, maybe, but what we did see was plenty impressive.

Though I hesitate to fawn too much over a show that was barely longer than a sitcom, Ida Maria Børli Sivertsen, with her honey-and-bourbon take on the low notes, and speaking in delightfully cracked English between songs, charmed throughout the set. Her band, whose looks didn't quite seem to match what she was doing, also sounded tight. After watching Santigold lip-synch much of her Tucson performance Saturday night, it was refreshing to watch a singer whose natural voice sounds just as amazing live as it does on record.

And, actually, considering I once wrote that Ida, like the wonderful Jens Lekman, is just the sort of Scandinavian pop singer who rarely tours any non-coastal American cities, even eight songs at $12 was a treat.

"Morning Light
"Queen of the Night"
"You Keep Me Warm"
"Forgive Me"
"I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked"
"Oh My God"

Critic's Notebook

Last Night: Ida Maria at Martini Ranch

Better Than: Santigold's playback-heavy show in Tucson over the weekend, for sure.

Personal Bias: OK, I admit it: As a reviewer with a 9 a.m. deadline, a short show that's over by 10 p.m. is kind of great for me. Which is why that otherwise shitty Kings of Leon show didn't depress me too much. I realize some people may be a little angrier to have paid like $1.75 a song for their tickets.

Random Fact: I have it on the authority of the merch girl: it's "e-duh" not "eye-dah." 

Further Listening: If you haven't yet heard it...

By The Way: The kids who made up a dance routine  for "Stella" then started to strip for the above hit were pretty classic.  
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Martin Cizmar
Contact: Martin Cizmar