Mar 192024
renee rapp linger

Broadway and television star Renée Rapp has had a mainstream music breakout in 2024. After she brought her Queen Bee Regina George to the big screen, she got her first musical-guest on Saturday Night Live. She has just completed her Snow Hard Feelings tour with a European leg, and in several of those shows she performed an intimate cover of The Cranberries’ “Linger” with guitarist (and opening act) Towa Bird.

“Linger” was the song that announced Dolores O’Riordon to The Cranberries, and subsequently, The Cranberries to the world. When the nascent band was looking for a singer they were initially unsure (which seems astonishing) about O’Riordon, until she brought the lyrics to a song they had crafted to her second audition and blew them away with her performance. By talking about young and forbidden love, the song became an anthem for a nation looking for a new direction, and a worldwide hit.

Rapp and Bird turn it into a two-hander, with Bird on guitar duties. Rapp does the sensible thing and does not try to replicate one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in pop, but there is a respectful Irish lilt in there. She does mimic the enthusiasm of O’Riordan, who occasionally lost a word or two in getting across the message. The interplay between the two artists is fascinating to watch and listen to.

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