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Sarah Lindstedt Charms At Room 5

Roselle Chen |
March 20, 2011 | 11:42 p.m. PDT

Senior Entertainment Editor

Sarah Lindstedt (Photo by Drew Von Bergen)
Sarah Lindstedt (Photo by Drew Von Bergen)
The inside of Room 5 upstairs from Amalfi Restaurant in Los Angeles felt like a cozy, dark ship, with red leather seats under recess lighting surrounding the small stage on a rainy Sunday night.

Wet drops pelted against the window frames, keeping out the dark and the cold.

Sarah Lindstedt, 18, dressed simply in black leggings and a white ruffled t-shirt, sang and played on her acoustic guitar.

The audience looked like a camp group inching closer to warm their hands for an hour by a flickering fire.

The venue held about 35-40 seats that surrounded round wood tables; a curved copper bar sat in front of red velvet curtains.

Still in high school at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes Peninsula, the singer measures her evolution as a performer by grade level: she started writing poetry in 2nd grade, taught herself how to play guitar in 7th grade and started performing in 9th grade.

“I think I know everyone in here,” said Lindstedt. The lively crowd, a mix of high school students, their parents, and the parents’ friends, whooped and clapped in agreement. She brushed her long brown hair out of her eyes, tuned her guitar and began her performance with “Lost and Found,” about a girl anticipating the start of a new relationship.

Themes that ran through her 12-song set list were of love, loss and heartache. But her original songs have playful, youthful qualities that prevent them from nearing bitterness.

“Help me out of here, it’s been some time since I was left behind,” she sang. “Take me faithfully; label me as your own.”

Lindstedt’s voice is folksy, bluesy, jazzy and soulful, but one can’t help but be reminded of Colbie Caillat in “Bubbly,” or Ingrid Michaelson in “The Way I Am.” There’s a pleasant, radio friendly allure with a gravelly tinge to the musician’s voice, and the strength behind it fills up the entire room.

Interspersed through her original songs were covers by Death Cab for Cutie, Edith Piaf, Bob Dylan, TLC and Zee Avi, all about love, relationships and even a funny acoustic rendition of “No Scrubs,” in which Lindstedt joked, “This goes out to all the single ladies who doesn’t want a guy hanging out the passenger side of his best friend’s ride, trying to holla at them.”

Lindstedt sang a French cover of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose,” where she sang some parts with her eyes closed, immersed in the lyrics, and a self-penned “Gatsby’s Lament,” about the protagonist in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and his frustrating relationship with Daisy Buchanan.

“I wanted him to wake up and look at that monster he was dealing with,” she said of Daisy.

“Your golden girl will slit your heart in two,” she sang.

“Under the Moon” expressed the singer’s fondness for the lighter side of moon related things. “I’m a sap for anything that has to do with the moon, not in the Wolverine kind of way, I just think the moon is cute and romantic,” she said.

“If we are to go insane, it’s better done with a wax and a wane,” she sang.

Lisha Kim, 17, said “Under the Moon” and “Gatsby’s Lament” were two of her favorite songs.

“Even though they’re two completely different meaning songs, they’re still personable to the listener,” said Kim. “They’re just fun songs.”

Lindstedt’s last song on the set list, “A Dose of You,” was finished Friday and had a more hopeful note on love with a country twang to it.

“I feel revived, resuscitated by your smile,” the young musician sang.

After the set ended, the crowd, made up mainly of people the artist knew (she wasn’t lying), gave her a standing ovation.

“We’re watching someone at the beginning of something great,” said Jennie Robertson, 46. “In a couple of years we can say that we were there at this little club, watching her on her first night, and by then she’ll be huge.”

Set list:
1. Lost and Found
2. Wrapped Around Mine
3. Cover: I Will Follow You into the Dark, Death Cab for Cutie
4. Under the Moon
5. Cover: La Vie en Rose, Edith Piaf
6. Gentle Love
7. Cover: You Belong to Me, Bob Dylan
8. Sad and Blue
9. Cover: No Scrubs, TLC
10. Cover: Monte, Zee Avi
11. Gatsby’s Lament
12. A Dose of You

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