Liking a band before it becomes cool is usually reserved for fans but, in the case of Angel Olsen, the manager gets to claim hipster status.
Mark Capon of Minimize / Maximize Artist Management booked Olsen’s first solo tour, when she was a fledgling singer-songwriter just starting to gain the attention of high-brow music critics.
“I booked her nine dates up and down the East Coast. She played solo tiny clubs, just art spaces. Booking isn’t exactly my forte but I got the job done,” Capon told Pollstar, laughing. “She didn’t really know or believe at the time that she had an audience, but I could tell that people were interested.”
That was in 2012. Now, Olsen is filling venues like the Fillmore in San Francisco (one date sold out, with the second on its way), The Wiltern in Los Angeles and London’s Roundhouse, which will be her biggest solo headlining gig to date at 3,000-plus capacity.
Always a critics’ darling, Olsen has gained mainstream appeal with her latest LP, My Woman, an ambitious blend of the comfortable and challenging.
“She made a record that is highly accessible but not in a way where she intended to make it an easier listen. She just has her finger on something that is resonating in a wider way,” said Capon, who has also tour managed for Olsen. “She’s feeling really good on the road. Everything’s upgraded – the production level’s a little bigger, the band’s bigger, the venues are nicer, she’s on a bus now.”
But growing the fanbase is not as simple as just putting her in front of as many people as possible.
“Angel’s performances are very intense and happy and memorable, but not necessarily like a funk band at a festival,” Capon said. “We have to choose the right environments for her. So even with a big offer from a festival, we have to be sure it’s appropriate and make sure it works for her music.”
Olsen recently wrapped up a U.S. tour and is currently on a European tour, with “almost every ticket sold” for both. She hits Australia next, and another U.S. tour of large clubs into February.