Best Triumph Over Nerves: Angel Olsen
While artists like Hooray for the Riff Raff were stomping and clapping at the Heartbreaker Banquet's main stage, a much more reflective kind of set was going on in a small tent by the back chapel. Last year's Burn Your Fire for No Witness catapulted Angel Olsen into the kind of indie fandom that can repeatedly sell out mid-sized New York venues. Her performance on Thursday evening was somber and meditative: Staying fixed in a single spot for most of the set, she made very little banter with the audience. "I'm gonna try to do some covers," she said by way of closing out. "But I don't know if I'm gonna remember any of them because I'm nervous up here. Y'all make me nervous." When she launched into a gorgeous cover of Emmylou Harris' "Born to Run," her tremulous voice soaring at the chorus, and followed it with a sweetly subdued take on Waylon Jennings' "Rainy Day Woman," it seemed like she got over her jitters.