Even with laryngitis, Irish pop icon Sinead O’Connor was brilliant. I was fortunate enough to take in her show at Highline Ballroom the same week she released her stellar new album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You). It’s been a tumultuous two decades since Ireland’s child was propelled onto the world’s stage. After four marriages, nine albums and that little SNL incident, it was interesting to see how O’Connor has evolved. Now a mother, she’s still strikingly unique with her rough exterior, angelic dimpled face and sensational voice. A modest fan before the show, my respect for her grew immensely as the show progressed.
She opened with “Take Off Your Shoes” and “I Had a Baby” from the new album and then performed my favorite song of her’s from I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got, “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” “Never Get Old” from her first album came next and was followed by “No Man’s Woman” and “Jealous” from the 1994 Faith & Courage album. Three more from the new album, “The Wolf is Getting Married,” “Old Lady” and “Reason With Me” made me immediately download the whole album. My fanzine was growing. Then came a beautiful tribute to the late Whitney Houston, a stunning a capella version of “I Am Stretched On Your Grave.” She then sang “4th and Vine” may be my favorite new song off her new album, and closed with three Sinead O’Connor standards: “The Lamb’s Book of Life,” her most famous hit, the Prince-penned “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which she dedicated to her children, and “The Last Day of Our Acquaintance.”
Her encore featured four songs: “V.I.P.,” “Jackie” and “Queen of Denmark,” all from the new album. She left us with a 40 second prayer that she learned from Irish monks in Limerick, Ireland, “Before We End Our Day.” It was a great evening, and I will forever be a Sinead O’Connor fan. I can’t wait to see her again when her voice is in tip top shape. Love.