REVIEW: ZZ Ward “Storms” Irving Plaza

Singer-songwriter ZZ Ward came to NYC’s Irving Plaza on Thursday night as her The Storm tour rolled through town, and we were there to kick off a long weekend here at Soundboard MagazineZZ’s genre is a bit all over the place, not really falling into any one category, so it’s a bit difficult to know what to expect when someone I’ve never seen live before. She’s roughly equal parts blues, pop, rock and what many would refer to as “white soul”, and all of those genres combine to create fantastic tunes from an uber-talented performer who doesn’t get nearly enough radio time here in NYC.

Unfortunately, as of this writing there is no setlist available for any of Ward’s shows on this tour, so we’re going to have to wing it with this one. The best I can come up with for possibilities is that she played Ride, 365 Days, Cannonball and Domino two nights earlier, and assuming the setlist is the same for the entire tour, those seem like good possibilities for songs tap for this night. Unfortunately, I don’t get the luxury of paying attention to the first 3 songs as I’m capturing them, so I can’t say with any certainty whether any of those appeared on the set or where they were played, which is a shame because I’m not so familiar with Ward’s body of work – only a few tunes, really – and would love to know what she’s playing so I can both reference back to it and also familiarize myself with a wider range of her offerings.

None of that matters, really, as much as how incredible ZZ Ward is on stage. For someone whose music is a bit mellow by my standards – something I’d listen to on a rainy day or a long drive up the country – she’s all over the place and high-energy from start to finish, and her voice translates well from the studio to her live performance. She really is incredible and deserves much more recognition than she’s gotten locally, and it’s sad that there really isn’t a station playing her music, not even the new alternative station we got recently. Sadly, the only way to listen to ZZ Ward around here is to buy her music or stream Youtube all day. I guess that means I’ll just have to see her live every chance I get, she’s that good.

Photo gallery below: