One of the best things about the bi-coastal concert series “It’s a School Night,” is the ability to catch up and coming performers before they become household names. You get a cheap ticket and mainly intimate venues to explore new music and this past Monday night at Baby’s All Right was no exception as Bishop Briggs got another chance to make New York crowds take notice.
Opening for Briggs, in between DJ Chris Douridas’ sets, was D.C. based Shaed. Previously know as The Walking Sticks, the duo featuring Spencer and Max Ernst became Shaed after adding singer Chelsea Lee to their lineup. This is a poppy synth trio that leaves enough space in their songs to let Lee’s shimmering voice shine through. Lee bobbed her head and smiled throughout their short set. Each new song seemed to make that smile grow wider and wider as the crowd hopped up and down. There is a trip hop element to their music but one that doesn’t overshadow the feeling that this band lets enough sunshine into their tunes. Just want you want in time for the hot and humid New York summer ahead.
Headlining the night was Bishop Briggs, who takes her stage name after her parents hometown of Bishopbriggs, Scotland. Briggs can be found over all those heat seeking type charts. And with the pulsating revival feel she brings on her standout single, “River,” it’s easy to see why.
There is an immediate vulnerable quality to Briggs music. You know you’re watching an artist open their soul to you when she performs. She might not talk too much to the crowd but she smiles when needed and moves infectiously across the floor. When she belts out lyrics like “ Choke this love till the veins start to shiver / One last breath till the tears start to wither / Run me like a river / Shut your mouth and run me like river,” you can see the passion etched across her face. I couldn’t help but think of Meg Myers as Briggs took hold of the crowd that night.
She fully embraces her demons and uses pulse-pounding beats throughout her songs. This just amplifies the sadness she sends forth, but oh does it feel so good. You just want to scream out “Hell yes!” to each of her choruses. You want to clap along. You want to shake your head and give yourself unto her like she’s leading a sermon commanding you to release the darkness brewing inside of you.
Briggs always seems ready to leap into the air and yet her feet never totally leave the stage. Almost like she’s afraid she’s going to lose control of the deadly magic she’s conjuring if she jumps too high.
Briggs smiled as one audience member yelled out “How about an album?” And at the moment I wanted to yell “Hell yes!”
Article: Omar Kasrawi