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Allison Russell's Spellbinding Set: A Night of Soul and Resilience at Forest Hills Stadium


Photo: Ehud Lazin

Allison Russell, an artist of immense talent and profound emotional depth, graced the stage at Forest Hills Stadium on June 4, 2024, opening for Hozier. Russell’s performance was a captivating prelude to the evening, blending her soulful melodies with poignant storytelling that left the audience spellbound.



Russell's accolades are impressive and well-deserved. She has garnered a Grammy win for Best American Roots Performance for her powerful single “Eve Was Black,” alongside seven additional nominations. Her remarkable career also includes the Juno Award for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year, the Americana Music Association’s 2023 Spirit of Americana Award and 2022 Album of the Year Award, two International Folk Music Awards, three Canadian Folk Music Awards, and four UK Americana Music Awards. These honors are a testament to her influence and the resonance of her music within the industry.


Opening her set with the Grammy-winning “Eve Was Black,” Russell immediately drew the audience into her world. The song's haunting melodies and evocative lyrics set the tone for an emotionally charged performance. Her voice, a rich and expressive instrument, conveyed the song's themes of resilience and identity with a raw intensity that was palpable.



Following this powerful opening, Russell performed “Superlover,” a song originally by Birds of Chicago, a band she co-founded. This rendition was both familiar and refreshing, showcasing her ability to breathe new life into past collaborations. The interplay of her vocals with the instrumentation created a lush, textured soundscape that enveloped the audience.


As the set progressed, Russell delved into “Demons,” a track that highlights her skill in confronting personal and societal challenges through music. Her delivery was both vulnerable and defiant, reflecting the inner struggles and triumphs that have shaped her as an artist. The song's layered arrangement and dynamic shifts kept the audience engaged, hanging on every note and word.


Photos: Ehud Lazin


Throughout her performance, Russell's connection with the audience was undeniable. She shared stories and reflections that added depth to each song, creating an intimate atmosphere despite the vastness of the stadium. Her presence on stage was both commanding and inviting, drawing listeners into her narrative and making them feel part of the journey.


Photos: Jared Miller


Her ability to weave personal experiences with broader themes of resilience and hope resonated deeply with the audience, setting the stage perfectly for Hozier's performance. It was a night that highlighted her exceptional talent and affirmed her place as one of the most compelling voices in contemporary roots music.


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