Greg Laswell

Greg Laswell performed a blend of ballads and upbeat songs at his performance Tuesday at the Maintenance Shop.

Fans of Sara Bareilles, Leonard Cohen and Damien Rice should look forward to the concert at the Maintenance Shop this Tuesday when folk rock musician Greg Laswell performs.

Laswell is best known for his sensitive lyrics and soulful piano accompaniment. When listening to his music, audience members can expect to experience a wide range of emotions that run the gamut from vulnerability and fear to hope and optimism.

Laswell has performed in a large variety of venues, but is looking forward to coming to Iowa State’s M-Shop.

“I like to communicate and spend the evening with [the audience],” Laswell said. “And that tends to happen more in intimate environments.” 

Connecting with the audience is one of the more rewarding parts of performing for Laswell. To help further the relationship, Laswell engages with his fans on social media as well as hangs out with audience members after his shows.

Even though Laswell has been performing professionally for nearly 20 years, he has steadily maintained his fanbase and success. Just two weeks ago, he released a new EP titled, “Covers II,” which is a compilation of eight covers, including a collaboration with singer-songwriter Molly Jenson on many of the tracks.

Laswell has been given the opportunity to collaborate with several acclaimed musicians, such as Sia and Sara Bareilles, on his album “Landline.” Laswell’s music has also been found in blockbuster films such as “My Sister’s Keeper,” “Friends With Benefits” and “Final Destination,” as well as hit television series including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Arrow,” “True Blood” and “Friday Night Lights,” to name a few. 

However, with so much success, challenges are bound to follow. 

“The whole thing is difficult,” Laswell said. “You have to love [performing] so much to overcome all the obstacles.”

Laswell has had many roadblocks in his personal life, including the passing of his father and a divorce with his former wife, Ingrid Michaelson. 

“It’s just a matter of getting up over and over and over again,” Laswell said.

Throughout all of the trials of his musical career, Laswell still enjoys creating music for his fans. 

“Every once in a while I wonder about [changing careers], not very long,” Laswell said. “Even when it’s difficult work, I still love what I do.” 

While Laswell is approaching his twenty year anniversary in the entertainment industry, he still feels his new music has the same appeal as his earlier works. 

“I feel like I’m more open and approachable and accessible, but if anything I feel like with this new record I feel like I’ve gone back to the sonic signatures I had,” Laswell said. 

Laswell will be performing Tuesday in the Maintenance Shop, located in the Memorial Union. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 8. Tickets purchased before the event will be $15 with a Student ID or $17 at the door. For more information, contact the Maintenance Shop at mshop@iastate.edu.

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