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Four things we loved about Jessica Lea Mayfield at Boot & Saddle

Jessica Lea Mayfield performs at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia
Photograph: Chris Sikich

Ohio singer-songwriter Jessica Lea Mayfield enchanted a sold-out Boot & Saddle Thursday, performing a tight set of grunge ballads. The show that had been postponed from October, when she was injured in a car accident.

1. Songs from Sorry is Gone translate well when performed live.

Jessica Lea Mayfield performs at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia

Sporting seafoam green hair and armed with multiple guitars, Mayfield delivered a set heavy on songs from her unsettling 2017 album, which was inspired after a breakup and delves into domestic abuse and other pains of the past. The show opened with “Wish You Could See Me Now,” the album’s stunning first track, which kickstarted an evening of intimate revelations.

2. “Sorry Is Gone” was a highlight, serving as the show’s emotional core.

Jessica Lea Mayfield performs at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, but sorry is gone,” Mayfield sang, revealing her emotional scars—and the crowd responded with reverence and respect. A hard-won realization about letting go cloaked in a simple arrangement, it’s a great entry point for those new to the Ohio native’s work.

3. The lights at Boot & Saddle were on point.

Jessica Lea Mayfield performs at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia

The South Philly venue’s barebones lighting provided an ideal setting for Mayfield to peel back the layers of feelings and memory without any distraction. It also created an inviting, intimate experience for the audience, who were visibly shook during her stirring rendition of “Standing in the Sun.”

4. Mal Blum and the Blums began with a superb set of pop-punk ditties.

Mal Blum and the Blums perform at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia

Songs included the introspective “Robert Frost,” which exploded into frenzied guitar and percussion. This is one of the most underrated acts around.

Mal Blum and the Blums perform at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia
Mal Blum and the Blums perform at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia
Jessica Lea Mayfield performs at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia

We snagged some portraits before the show

Jessica Lea Mayfield at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia
Jessica Lea Mayfield at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia
Mal Blum and the Blums at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia
Mal Blum and the Blums at Boot & Saddle in Philadelphia
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