You know that scene in the superhero movie where the superhero can’t control her power, where it’s bursting out of her and threatening the lives of everyone around her? And she’s trying to hold it back but also starting to give into it? Sharon Van Etten hit that pose a few times on The Tonight Show last night. She had her Dark Phoenix moment.
At the beginning of the year, Van Etten released Remind Me Tomorrow, her first new album in a solid five years. It remains one of 2019’s strongest albums to date. And Van Etten has been reinforcing that impression every time she steps in front of a TV camera. Lately, Van Etten has been putting in hall-of-fame TV performances and raising goosebumps whenever she hits the climactic moment on “Seventeen.” But last night, she sang the tough, churning “Comeback Kid,” another of the album’s early singers, and she sang the hell out of that, too.
On last night’s show, Van Etten looked gothier than we’re used to her looking, and she summoned a whole lot of fire, delivering big notes through gritted teeth and giving the impression, the entire time, that she had something at stake with this performance. That’s the difference between her TV performances and those of most of her peers: She acts like all these things matter. Watch it happen below.
Remind Me Tomorrow is out now on Jagjaguwar.