It was a quiet and damp Thursday night on the Lower East Side when I strolled into Mercury Lounge to catch Flint Eastwood’s first headlining show in New York City. Opener, Nyge, shared his solo set using electronic beats and melodies. The songs were danceable and fluid and as people kept pouring into the venue they all seemed to fall into the same head-bobbing trance to the rhythm. When Nyge finished his set, the room was packed for Flint Eastwood. We thought we were ready, but ready for what?
Jax Anderson whipped up onto the stage like a fiery blur with long red braids, overalls, and a black beanie. Seconds later, she checked her mic and screamed to the crowd, “HELLO NEW YORK!” In that moment, she wasn’t just anyone anymore, she was Flint Eastwood and we were all about to get rocked by her infectious energy. FE consists of Jax Anderson as the front woman and lead vocalist, and her friends, a new drummer, and the bassist, Joel Parks.
The music started with a powerful opening song named, Push. Instantly Anderson was dancing, which gave way for the rest of us to do the same. She danced so hard that I don’t believe she stopped the entire night. She certainly didn’t stay in one place longer than a few seconds to catch her breath or teach some choreography to the crowd. Her body was whipping back and forth like, well, like Willow Smith!
God only knows. Definitely provided the feels you’d expect in an opening song, but maybe you’ve noticed by now, that this woman doesn’t play by the rules. Don’t let the upbeat tempo and major melodic framework fool you, this song isn’t about butterflies and rainbows, it talks about losing your best friend. Don’t know if that means to death or heartbreak, nonetheless it makes you think about the possibilities and to go there helps get the listener beyond just another pop thrill.
Sober was another song that stuck out to me. Not about drugs or alcohol, as Anderson explained on stage, but about being so “drunk in love” with somebody that you just need to step away for some space to get sober again.
Oblivious. Throughout the entire evening, Anderson explains time and time again to the crowd that participation is mandatory. She said it in a laughing tone but no one person in that room dared to call her bluff, especially as she later called out a woman in the back of the crowd on her cellphone, “Hey, whatcha doing? I see you with your phone out, lady.” The crowd burst out with laugh! Anderson added, “But hey, if it’s important, take care of your shit.” Oblivious was packed with teachable choreography, and yes, another very danceable number.
Just before Small Victories, Anderson put the mic down and came up to the front of the stage and shared about the importance of the little things. Continuing by saying that she’s not a doctor, and that she can’t take away your pain but that she is so grateful that the crowd chose her tonight. It seemed to me that she had a unique medicine of her own and one might not be able to bottle it up and sell it, but clearly she’s used these songs to transcend painful situations into bursts of growth, joy, and danceable effervescence.
Nearing the end, Anderson shared a message with all of the women in the room about self worth, courage, and bravery. She empowered me that night and I know I’m not alone in saying that she’s one hell of a performer. No only that but she’s also an advocate for peace and change. And heck, I might as well say it she’s a preacher, too! But don’t take my word for it (though that’d certainly save you some time) go see Flint Eastwood live for yourself!
Flint Eastwood is on tour with Nyge and later on with PVRIS until mid-March. Next up is Feb 6th in Columbus, OH at The Basement, and Feb 8th in Nashville, TN at The High Watt.
Article: Tiffany Wilson