Waxahatchee

support Allison Crutchfield
author LF date 27/09/17 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

I became familiar with the DIY indie rock project Waxahatchee and its driving force Katie Crutchfield with the release of the third album "Ivy Tripp" in 2015. Her music only really clicked with me this year, though, on her July album "Out in the Storm" and so I have been excited to see how it would work out in a live situation. And tonight features not just one but two Cruthfields as Katie's twin sister Allison has been picked as support artist on the tour so there you have it - several good reasons to be excited for an atmospheric indie evening with lots of good guitar rock.

All pictures by Michael Løgtholt

Allison Crutchfield

Allison takes to the stage with her band consisting here of a bassist and drummer with herself changing between guitar and keyboards while singing. She takes her place on the right side of the stage with the keyboards, leaving the mic that is already set up for her sister to loom unused in the middle. Her music is more raw to listen to than that of her sister's most recent album and even though they both play what can be classified as indie rock and there are similarities to their singing styles, Allison's set tonight has entirely its own expression. I am not too familiar with her releases but I know them enough to recognize strong versions of "You" as well as the catchy single "Dean's Room" towards the end of the set with the repetitive and danceable chorus of "You just wanna catch me alone" that soon has people casually rocking out all over the venue. She also includes a cover song called "Feel What I Feel" that I find out is originally an electronically dominated track by fellow indie singer-songwriter Briana Marela (who herself will be visiting Vega in November this year). No time is wasted between songs for more than a few thank-you's but it remains an energetic 30-minute set with a good pace that gets us warmed up well for the rest of the evening.

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Waxahatchee

All three band members from before, including Allison as keyboardist/guitarist/backing singer, return to the stage along with an extra guitarist to perform with Katie as Waxahatchee and thus the main set tonight also instantly has a bigger and fuller sound than what we've witnessed so far. Katie herself has somewhat of a stronger presence on stage than her sister, perhaps also through the way the set is orchestrated. She has her own guitar in the middle of the stage and begins with the slow movement of one of her new tracks, "Recite Remorse", where every word cuts clearly through the air. Her vocal style that drags out words and breaks between notes in a very recognizable way seems to spellbind the audience immediately.

After this solid start, they perform nine out of her new album's ten songs tonight, jumbled up with cuts from her third and second albums as well. They start strong and continue head-on with the danceable single "Silver", the raw guitar power tune "Poison" and, one of the highlights for me, an older song called "Misery Over Dispute" that I didn't know before. Just as in the support set, there isn't much talk in between songs except when Katie introduces us to her band or comments shortly on the next songs being old or new. This means we get 19 songs in total even though the show remains no more than an hour long.

Songs like "Hear You", "A Little More", "8 Ball", "Brother Bryan", and "Sparks Fly" really click with me here where Katie's presence is felt so strongly in the lyrics, not least in the latter's line of "And I see myself through my sister's eyes / I'm a live wire, electrified". With Allison on stage next to her sister, singing along with excellent harmonies the song feels even more significant than otherwise.

The audience is grooving along and bopping their heads all over and even though the place is not sold out tonight, the room is softly filled with people that all seem full of respect for the artists on the stage. As they end with the loud "No Question" and the contrasting "Peace and Quiet", it doesn't take long for the audience to clap them back out again for solid encore performances of the singles "La Loose" and "Under A Rock" from Waxahatchee's 2015 album. All in all, the best shows for me are the ones that open up the artist's material so that I suddenly hear it in a new way or go home with new favorite songs stuck in my head. This show does that to a certain extent while I am still not knocked off my feet for more than a few songs here and there and I could still have wished for a more personal feel in between songs.

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Setlist:

  • 1. Recite Remorse
  • 2. Silver
  • 3. Poison
  • 4. Misery Over Dispute
  • 5. The Dirt
  • 6. Sparks Fly
  • 7. 8 Ball
  • 8. Brother Bryan
  • 9. Never Been Wrong
  • 10. Hear You
  • 11. Air
  • 12. Waiting
  • 13. Coast to Coast
  • 14. Brass Beam
  • 15. A Little More
  • 16. No Question
  • 17. Peace and Quiet

- Encore

  • 18. La Loose
  • 19. Under A Rock

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