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TORRES Takes On The Lodge Room With A Captivating Set

Words edited by Iceis Augustino

TORRES playing guitar at The Lodge Room.
Photo Credit: @jerm_on_tape

The evening of TORRES’ performance at the Lodge Room in Highland Park, California, was greeted with a darkened sky as groups of friends spilled into the venue for warmth and shuffled towards the bar. Singer-songwriter Mackenzie Scott, who performs as TORRES, was already eight shows into her tour, with the effervescent Liza Anne opening each night. 

Drowning the crowd in a deep hue of blue lighting, Scott breaks the anticipation with her sonically hypnotic track 'Good Scare'. Against its thundering drums, the lyrics confide all of the candid observations that come up while falling in love with another person.  She hums lines like, “When you said you couldn’t swing it, you gave me a good scare for a minute there.” Leaving the room entranced as the audience takes on the perspective of Scott’s partner. 

Scott jokingly points out her surprise at the turnout, noting that Mitski was in town that same night and how she wishes she could be there too. She then seamlessly slips into 'Cowboy Guilt', translating the already layered track into an even richer, dramatized live composition using sharp and quick guitar riffs.

Beginning to crack the door open to more from her newest album, the introduction to 'Happy man’s shoes' prompted a round of eager cheers from the audience.  You could quickly tell that this track was made to be performed on a stage as its persistent, hard-hitting tempo loudly proclaimed itself behind Scott’s steady vocals. It would have seemed fitting to spontaneously break into a marching line, with Scott taking the lead at the forefront.

Scott is naturally conversational throughout her set, generously sharing with the crowd the driving inspiration behind each song. For 'Forever home', she sheds a kind light on her friend Amy – “She is a real beacon of community in New York, and I admire her so much for that. She connects people like nobody I have ever seen.” At the mention of her older record, Sprinter, the audience responded with more hollers and applause, clearly noting Scott that this album was a fan favorite. In honor of singing its namesake track, she touches on her experience growing up in Georgia in a conservative household– “When I used to perform this song, I used to do it angrily…. At this point, I feel pretty merciful toward everyone involved, including my parents, whom I love very much. Ultimately, I want you to know that I feel a lot of love for everyone involved in this story.” A curtain of pure forgiveness hung over the entire performance as the audience watched a healed Scott softly recollect her angry, definitive lines at the time, “Well, what I did is what is done. The Baptist in me chose to run.

She glides through the strangling feelings of anxiety in 'I got the fear' before diving into the desire-fueled tracks 'Don’t Go Puttin Wishes in My Head' and 'Thirstier', with Scott’s wife Jenna, who was in attendance as the center muse.

Scott’s discography stands as a testament to artistry that cannot be confined, and her live shows only further prove this. She is as boundless as her newest record What an enormous room, a project informed by the human psyche, with Scott taking the time to express how the mind is both the most confining and expansive place she had ever been. With the final leg of the set, she turns the morbid idea of death into an empowering message for the audience before 'Artificial limits', while bellowing the repeated hooks of "Did I hit a nerve?” in the bitingly confronting track 'Collect'.

As she ties up the show with 'Gracious Day', you can’t help but feel full and content from such a vulnerable performance. This has everything to do with Scott’s prowess as a musician and gracious approach to each emotion she endures. Scott commented, “Y'all are super polite.” At several points during the night, and I think that is because her ability to create an intense intimacy with her audience left everyone in a mystified trance where cheers just didn’t do her work justice enough. 



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