There are a lot of ways you can spend a Wednesday night – at the gym, at home with Netflix, out to dinner or on the couch with Postmates. Another way you can spend a Wednesday night is at a show. And let’s be honest – that next episode of Love Island on Hulu will still be there when you get home because it’s not every night the reigning queen of emo pop comes to town. The Inner Monologue Tour with Julia Michaels at a packed First Avenue was the perfect way to spend a Wednesday night in our humble opinion.
I rushed over to First Avenue from a happy hour with coworkers and made it through the doors right at 7:00pm as singer/songwriter Rhys Lewis was taking the stage. After checking my coat (because yes it’s that season again) I made my way to the soundboard to snag a few pictures. I was instantly captivated by Lewis’ voice and the simplicity of his set. His set was just him, his guitar and his bandmate on keys at center stage. Lewis is a singer/songwriter from Oxford, England and his accent was every bit as charming as his heartfelt love songs. The heartfeltness of Lewis made him the perfect addition to the Inner Monologue tour. Lewis vocals were otherworldly but called to mind the likes of Ed Sheeren, John Mayer, Ben Howard and Alec Benjamin. Much like Michaels, every single moment of Lewis set was packed with a rawness and emotion that is nothing short of intoxicating. The young but energetic crowd seemed to be loving every minute of Rhys Lewis’ set so we have a feeling we will be seeing him back in the Twin Cities very soon. His short but sweet and tender sweet featured tracks such as End Like This, Better than Today and Some Days.As the stage changed over from Lewis simple set to a more elaborate one for Julia Michaels, the energy and excitement grew palpably in the Mainroom at First Avenue. Julia Michaels is having a major moment in pop music right now, and it’s a moment we hope never ends. Michaels is largely known for collaborating with the likes of former One Directioner Niall Horan, Lauv, Selena Gomez, Clean Bandit, and many more. And it’s no wonder why Michaels seems to be one of the most sought out voices in pop music at the minute – her vocals are absolutely incredibly and somehow seamlessly work across genres – whether it’s more country, pop, EDM, or rock. There’s a uniqueness to the tone and quality of Michaels voice that just hooks you in. However, more than just being the girl to collaborate with at the moment, Michaels has a slew of her own albums out including Inner Monologue Part 1 and Inner Monologue Part 2 as well as Nervous System. With a few albums and a slew of collabs under her belt, Michales is more than on her way to securing her place as the reigning queen of pop. But Michaels is much more than just “pop.” Michaels is at the forefront of the pop meets emo revival and we are 100% here for it. Her songs are filled with heartbreak, love, rawness, realness and just the ups and downs of being human. Julia Michaels worked her way through her set with ease. Backed by a full band who doubled as a her band and dancers and giant psychedelic flowers on stage and dreamy light, Julia Michaels made the evening feel more like a walk on the Venice Beach boardwalk than a cold November night in Minneapolis. Michaels absolutely blew the crowd at First Avenue with a dynamic and interesting set full of jumping and dancing around as well quieter moments that allowed the singer/songwriter part of Michaels to shine. It’s safe to say no one wanted the set to end, but end it did. And watching the way the crowd sang along to song after song, it’s evident Michaels will also be back to the Twin Cities very soon and we’re guessing will have outgrown the Mainroom!
Set List: Pink / I Miss You (Clean Bandit cover) / Make It Up to You / Worst in Me / Heaven / Deep / Into You / Hurt Again / Happy / Fuck You (CeeLo Green cover) / Apple / Falling for Boys / Priest / Anxiety / Uh Huh / What a Time / Issues