The following are my impressions from the Karo Lynn live concert that took place at Leipzig’s Moritzbastei on August 26, 2021. Karo Lynn was also interviewed by LeipGlo contributor Áine Freeman before the release of her second album “Outgrow” in September of 2019.
When Karo Lynn released her recent album “Outgrow” in February 2020, there was no way to foresee how much the Covid-19 pandemic would affect her tour. For the longest time, live concerts were simply impossible – they either had to be canceled or postponed indefinitely. This also affected local artists who usually play for smaller crowds and live for the stage experience. Like Karo Lynn, whose concert tour was supposed to start in 2020 and extended long into summer 2021. This summer, it finally ended where it all started: in Leipzig. I was fortunate to attend the last concert of her “Outgrow” tour on August 26.
Experiencing Karo Lynn live at Moritzbastei
August 26, a Thursday, was a day full of rain. Far from ideal weather for an open-air concert, but the organizers decided to have the concert outside nonetheless. You know how the saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes!” So, we packed umbrellas and put on our raincoats to join the small but loyal crowd gathering at Moritzbastei. I was very curious to experience Karo Lynn live, because I was new to her music and already liked what I had heard, and I was excited to finally (!) be at a live concert again.
Karo Lynn’s stage entrance was unspectacular, but in a good way: She is not a person who needs a lot of theatrics. Because the moment she starts singing, you will already feel blown away. Her voice is outstanding, a dark timbre with the potential to resonate deep within you. And it fits the style and message of her music well: a blend of indie, folk, and more recently electronic elements, always melancholic and forthright at the same time. Bon Iver is one of her biggest influences – and you can definitely hear that in her music.
After her first set, the singer took a moment to thank those who came and expressed her gratitude to be able to play live again. You could feel that the whole audience shared that sentiment and was excited to hear live music again! And in this moment of gratitude, you could feel that the stage is where Karo Lynn likes to be – her presence was remarkably relaxed, calm, cool, simply at ease.
The new Karo Lynn: electronic meets acoustic
The songs she played were a surprising and rich mix: songs from the new album met old favorites, electronic met acoustic versions, and solo met band. Most of the songs at the concert were from her latest album “Outgrow.” But she also played “an old song in a completely new interpretation” (her words before she played it), namely “Chasing Owls” from her first album “Frames.”
The alternative version of this song is perhaps most emblematic of the new “Outgrown” style of Karo Lynn’s music: it is backed up by a whole band, instead of the solo singer-songwriter music from before, and it includes way more electronic elements. There was a new song in the mix as well: “Breaking the Ice,” which will hopefully also be released as a recorded version soon.
Pandemic activities: Karo Lynn certainly hasn’t been idle
Forced to a hiatus from live concerts, she recorded several acoustic versions of her songs – together with beautifully shot music videos, which you can watch on her YouTube channel. One of them is the acoustic version of WUBIF, a song I particularly like for its light touch and memorable line “I think about you from time to time”. For this song (and many others on “Outgrow”), CMiller, who is also her current producer, accompanies her on the drums. Tom Bunzel on the bass completes here band.
In-between sets with old and new songs, both acoustic and electronic as well as solo interludes, the singer whole-heartedly commented: “Meine Hände sind arschkalt!” (“My hands are cold as hell!”). Atta girl! Who would have thought it would be this cold at the end of August? I certainly wasn’t prepared for this weather but listening to Karo Lynn live was worth getting cold feet and hands.
Now, if I have awakened your interest in this outstanding singer and you’d also like to hear her live, Karo Lynn has a few more concerts for this fall listed on her page.
Supporting act glu: – another Leipzig-based group to check out
Let’s not forget about Karo Lynn’s supporting act – Leipzig locals glu: are also definitely worth mentioning. Their name “glu:” is the phonetic spelling of “glue”. The band warmed up the stage with their recently released first EP “Fireflies,” which you can listen to on Spotify or in this video that was recorded live at Cammerspiele Leipzig. Check out their 80s-inspired pop music and lead singer Charlotte’s awesome signature glitter tears make-up.