Saturday night the temperatures finally dipped down into the 40s but I found myself toasty warm inside Rough Trade for a night of great music from Julia Holter. Having never seen her live, I was surprised to see the floor packed to the edge of the stage well ahead of her 10pm set time.
As she took the stage accompanied by her 3-piece band, she gave me a ton of girl next-door vibes, and endeared herself to everyone by forgetting the chords to the first song. She also held a very quirky sense of humor that got everyone laughing on more than one pause in the music.
Her set was more of a classical performance, or stage play in its delivery than a typical concert. Silence and attentiveness to every word she sang, and every note that she played on her keyboard was paramount. With the help of Danny Meyer lending his sax on a handful of songs and Deanna Maccabe’s wonderful violin filling in the open spaces, her set was an enjoyable one, even as they dipped into the melancholy and soared into the joyful.
The songs, while I’m sure were painstakingly composed, possessed a spontaneity and fluidity to them that I appreciated, with “Silhouttes” demonstrating this notion in fine form, especially near the end when Julia went to town, fingers flying messily across the keys.
While I had stepped inside the doors wholly unfamiliar with her music, Julia and her band’s musicianship and attention to detail held my attention throughout.
Article: Lesley Keller