I’m not typically one to fall for the latest fad or even the latest hot song but the first time I head GAYLE’s “ABCDEFU” track, I knew there was something about her. From the hilarious yet all-too-real lyrics to the sheer power in this woman’s voice, I was in love and I was so excited when she announced a show here in Minneapolis.
I was expecting a completely sold-out crowd when prepping myself for the show so I was a bit shocked as I realized and felt the emptiness of The Fine Line as opener Justus Bennetts took the stage. It honestly broke my heart but I also figured that maybe people were just going to show up to the show late. I mean, Doors at 6, show at 7 is a bit early and it’s not rare for these early shows to get their crowd towards the end of the night.
I wanted to love Justus’ set. He had a very chill hip-hop vibe about him with this California sun feeling but sadly struggled to capture the of the slowly growing audience. Struggling to hit the notes against the tracks playing against him and relying on said tracks a bit more than I would have expected from an up-and-coming act. The set came alive at his final track “Bad Day”. As soon as he started playing this final track, I recognized the track as being one of those songs that I blare through my house on a daily basis to get the blood pumping. It’s a fun and catchy track with hilarious lyrics that everyone can relate to and I loved how it translated live but I just wish the rest of his set would have been like that final track. I’m not here to bash this young up-and-coming musician at all and I do hope he comes back soon with a bit more of a polished set while keeping the charm that he did have throughout the Thursday night set.
It was a bit hard to believe GAYLE as she talked to the crowd about how she had written most of these shows at age fourteen but didn’t get to perform them live until now due to the pandemic. I mean, just to try and think of her being only seventeen was hard for me. Her voice is much more mature than a seventeen-year-old’s should be. There’s this almost smoky jazz club tone at times and, at other times, this angsty aggression you would expect from a teenager. I feel like each song showcased one of these two sides of this singer perfectly but it was her cover of Joan Jett’s “Bad Reputation” that really showed off the energy and power of this woman. I couldn’t help but just stand there in awe as GAYLE and her band powered through the ode to the women that came before her and have given her the power to do exactly what she is doing today.
Unfortunately, GAYLE’s set was super short. It was only forty-five minutes long and thirteen tracks but I can say with confidence that everyone who paid for a ticket for this show got their money’s worth and left with a night of memories and sounds that will not be soon forgotten. I’ve seen some chatter on the internet about GAYLE being a one-hit-wonder and just another one of those Tik-Tok fads that will be a flash in the pan if that but, after seeing her perform live and feeling her passion and drive radiate off the stage, I truly expect huge things for this artist and can’t wait to see her name blow up in the way that she deserves.