The Fourth of July weekend began for some on Friday, July 2, when the Landing Market was home to performances from Lissie and Vermontana. The event, put on by the Landing in celebration of both their first business anniversary as well as Independence Day, was a home-grown affair, with manager Brittany Grendler quipping, “I blew up every balloon with my mouth.”
Vermontana, comprised of Burke Wallace, Evergreen Wildingway and Alex Thompson, are a local band that formed seemingly just in time for this show – this was their first gig. They played original songs as well as some covers, including a cover of Courtney Barnett’s “Depreston.” The trio of Luther College students said they were very excited to be opening for someone as talented and well-known as Lissie.
Lissie, a popular singer-songwriter residing in the area, is well-known for her country, folk and rock style. When she took the stage, she noted that she hadn’t played many gigs in the past year and a half – besides a performance in October also at the Landing. Lissie, who is from Rock Island, Ill., originally, said she found Decorah through canoeing trips, and moved here from Ojai, California.
Lissie played many of her own songs, including songs off of her first album “Catching a Tiger,” which she is planning to re-release as a 10th anniversary edition soon (even though it will technically be 12 years after initial release due to pandemic-related production issues). Additionally, she played some crowd favorites, including her famed cover of “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac and a stirring rendition of “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica – a song which she said she grew to love after her high school crush chose her best friend over her.
The crowd, which filled the Landing Market parking lot, greatly enjoyed the ability to hear live music again. Concertgoer Stephanie Heckroth noted that “it’s been well over a year since I’ve heard live music,” which seemed to be a common sentiment amongst many in attendance. Manager Grendler was eager to allow people to have that experience saying, “The Landing hasn’t had an easy first year, so we were so glad people were finally able to relax and enjoy themselves.”
Grendler also noted that she is “incredibly thankful” for all of the great patrons who visited not only for the concert but also for the rest of the festivities throughout the weekend.