I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when walking into the Fine Line last night. I’ve been listening to Kate Nash (the headliner) for years and didn’t quite have a feel as to if it was going to be a rock show or a more singer-songwriter show with a couple more upbeat songs. Honestly, I didn’t care. I was about to see the woman who sang me through various breakups and other pivotal points in my life and that was all that I needed.
The show kicked off with Miya Folick and as soon as she took the stage I was intrigued and it was game over for any worry that last night’s show wouldn’t be as exciting as the rest of my week has been. Within the first song, I was entranced by this truly unique songstress. Her voice was flawlessly beautiful with an edge that very few can pull off without sounding ridiculous. Her live show matched that beauty with the way she danced along to the words. With her arms flailing awkwardly but somehow fitting her performance perfectly, and the backing band taking the back seat to her truly dynamic live show, Miya powered through her forty minute set and when it was all said and done it was clear that the entire audience wanted more.
Within the first song Miya made the comment that this was the most “present” crowd they had ever played for. She went on to explain that nearly 100% of the quickly growing crowd had their eyes on the stage. Typically it’s closer to 30-40%. At the end of the set, Miya brought it up again and applauded the audience as much as we were applauding her. She seemed truly humbled that everyone in the venue was so attentive to her live show but, in my mind, I was wondering how could you not be? Miya was captivating. Her music was upbeat, unique, and fun while still keeping a dark edge about it. There was nothing else you could do in the audience except watch her whether out of intrigue, love, or whatever. She effortlessly commanded you as an audience member to pay attention and the fact that this doesn’t happen every time Miya performs is truly shocking to me. Regardless, the way she applauded the Minneapolis crowd was truly heartwarming and a nice reminder of just how great the scene is here and how going to a concert is more than just an excuse to go out… it’s an experience and there’s a sense of respect that you don’t get elsewhere.
After a quick set change, the stage was ready for the one and only Kate Nash. To say I was excited as the lights went down and the three female band members took the stage would be an understatement. As I mentioned at the beginning, I have been listening to Kate Nash for years. Her 2007 ‘Made of Bricks’ album came out when I was graduating from high school and making the leap to the Twin Cities from my hometown. It was a big time in my life and Kate Nash’s words and music truly helped me settle into the idea of attempting to be an adult. She has continued to release music and I have continued to follow her but had never gotten the chance to catch her live. I think it was out of fear that her live show wasn’t going to be what I wanted. She had such an impact on my life that if I saw her live and was disappointed, it would ruin absolutely everything. Well, time to stop being scared and as the iconic red head took the stage and jumped right into “Foundations” from ‘Made of Bricks’ any worry I had faded away and I found myself instantly getting lost in the music.
Although Kate just released her newest album ‘Yesterday Was Forever’ earlier this year, she didn’t forget her old music. Her set was nearly twenty songs that had been plucked from all over her four album discography. Clearly, the highlights for me were the songs that took me back to my angsty teenage years but it was hard to not fall in love with her new songs that I had yet to really obsess over yet. Everything she and her band played was so distinctively Kate Nash and that’s why I adore her. Kate has a very sweet sounding voice with a very thick English accent to it. It’s cutesy and fun while still having a sense of power behind it. I love how some of her songs come off as very prim and proper and then she has songs like “Dickhead” where it’s like she’s word vomit about an ex. I think that bipolar-ism is something that most musicians try to hide but Kate seems to embrace it. The loud and fast parts in her recordings seemed to be magnified in her live performance and her quiet and sultry parts were performed in a very soft yet clear way. With how dynamic her set was, I had almost forgotten I was on night five of a seven night concert grind. The way she energized the room is something that, no matter how hard I tried, I could never put into words.
I sang my heart out last night. Although I didn’t recognize every song Kate performed, I knew enough of them that my throat is a little scratchy this morning. There were so many songs that I had always pretended to see live. Don’t laugh, you know you do it too– when you listen to a song at home and figure out when you’re going to raise your hands in the air or when you’re just going to take the backseat and tap your toe. I had been planning out all of my moves to Kate’s songs over the years and to finally make those moves happen while actually watching her and not just blaring the CDs at my apartment meant absolutely everything to me. I could go on and on about how amazing it was to finally hear ‘Mariella’ live (which is definitely one of my all time favorite songs), or how amazing it was to watch as she stomped around the stage with almost too much chutzpah to handle– honestly, I could make this post thousands of words long and still have more to say about last night but you wouldn’t read it– you wouldn’t care. Like so many other nights of my life, if you weren’t there you would never understand the feeling the audience and I got from seeing Kate Nash live.
I talked earlier this week about how my bucket list is quickly dwindling– well now I get to cross Kate Nash off that small list and I’ll be doing it with a giant smile on my face. With over fifty shows covered already this year, I can easily say that Kate Nash is in my top three thus far and will probably end up in my top ten for the year.