Some artists capture the element of siren-like songs, creating an ethereal expression of wonderment and rapture. 7th Street Entry at First Avenue was bathed in such sounds when Adia Victoria took the stage on Wednesday June 15th. Accompanied by opening band Big Thief, this evening delved into the strange mysteries of blues, emotions, and loud guitars.
Setting a perfect scene, Big Thief opened the night with an air of mystery. A few people in the crowd knew who they were, but those who didn’t were surely singing their praise by the end of the set. Lead singer Adrianne Lenker delivered hauntingly soft vocals that matched her estranged deconstructed guitar playing perfectly. Playing tracks from their album Masterpiece, the band brought you deeper and deeper into their personal path, telling tales of yesterdays. All the members brought a different stage energy, from Lenker on her tip toes almost whispering you secrets, to their guitarist buckling at the knees, to their bass player swaying back and forth, barefoot. Big Thief definitely stole hearts in a big way.
Shortly their after, the main act of the night, Adia Victoria, walked on stage poised in perfection. Wearing a white linen dress, braided pigtails, and red patent leather shoes, Adia was almost an image out of a daydream. She played most of the tracks from her newly released album Beyond the Bloodhounds, with the exception of one new song not contained on the album. Before each song, Adia would give a small explanation about the song’s meaning, including a song about people who weren’t good for each other, or not getting over breakups, or even one song that was written about her cat. Early on in the set, just before dedicating her song “Howlin’ Shame” to Trayvon Martin, she sang the vocals to “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday. This West Coast tour is called Me & the Devil, and Adia sang Robert Johnson’s song of the same name, identifying the blues as where she found her home.
Throughout her entire performance, Adia Victoria spun a stage energy so fierce that it lit up the entire room. From her arms raised in praise to her jumping off the stage into the middle of the crowd to compliment a fellow concert goer to her crouching down low to embrace a keyboard solo so intently, Adia was fully present with her craftsmanship. As an artisan emitting grace from every fiber of her body, Adia Victoria commanded the stage with some country, some blues, and whole lot of southern rock and roll.