I recently had the pleasure of seeing Leslie Hall and the LYs at The Satellite in Silverlake, CA. You may know Leslie Hall for this music video which hit the Youtube charts in 2005 and explains her love of those bedazzled angora sweaters commonly found at your grandma’s thrift store…
Leslie Hall is a satirical rap artist, painter, crafter, gem sweater collector and museum owner, rug, pillowcase, and headband maker hailing from Ames, Iowa with a degree from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Her musical tours are rare (once every year or two years) because she puts on a huge show that involves a lot of people and props. What struck me about Leslie’s show is that it’s not just hilarious music. It is truly a glittery, fun, magical experience in which her devoted fans become deeply invested and even participate in her Gem Sweater contest.
Leslie Hall’s LYs are her backup singers and dancers, but they also happen to have their own hilarious bands: Pennyhawk and Ramona and the Swimsuits, which open for Leslie Hall in the beginning of the show, collectively referred to as “Judy and Judy’s Midwest Roadshow”. (Judy and Judy are mannequins that banter throughout the opening act).
Leslie Hall has a commanding presence onstage. Her gold spandex unitard shines as she gyrates and sings about pants, sweaters, snacking, hydrating, body rolls, booties, and feelings. Leslie makes her fans feel comfortable about embracing themselves, and what’s so refreshing to see is that she devotes time to every single one of them after her show.
I got to sit backstage with Leslie Hall and talk about her work as a performance artist. She is one of the coolest and most genuine people I’ve ever met and I feel super lucky to have been able to interview her…
Subscribe to Leslie Hall’s Youtube Channel, follow her on Twitter, check out her site, and definitely see her on her tour promoting Destination Friendship: The Feelings Album in the following upcoming cities: Philadelphia (3/16), Brooklyn (3/17), Boston, Cleveland (3/19), Columbus (3/20), Toledo (3/21), and Iowa City (3/29).
You can also hire her for your wedding at her Gem Sweater museum and email her for lyrics to “Hydrate Jirate” so you can remix it. Just saying, there’s so much fun to be had with Leslie Hall and the LYs!
Interview by Alessandra Rizzotti. Video filmed by Alessandra Rizzotti (follow @rizzottipotty) and Lindsay Flinn (follow @ElleEff). Edited by Alessandra Rizzotti. Special thanks to Matthew Cardarople (follow @bigkidcomedy) and Leslie and the LYs (follow @midwestdiva). “Gem Sweater” footage by Techno Army Union.