is an absolute darling with a phenomenally genuine element of weirdo, and showmanship. Last week she returned to NYC for the first time in two years to headline the Bowery Ballroom in support of her album The Golden Echo
If you're unfamiliar with Kimbra, kindly crawl out from under your rock and join the rest of the world. Kimbra is a grammy winning New Zealand funk-pop artist who is probably best known for featuring on Gotye
's smash hit single that punctuated every single break up of 2011, "Somebody That I Used To Know." The song, while great, is hardly an introduction to the colorful persona, and killer vocal contortions of Kimbra.
The Bowery Ballroom could barely contain the audience. People were packed airtight against one another swarming towards the stage. Only at the very edges of the room was there enough space to weave between people, everyone else was shoulder to chest to nose to ass to shoulder leaning towards the stage. Everyone in the sea of heads was a die hard fan, and when she started her set I quickly understood why.
Kimbra has the smiling charm of Taylor Swift, and the odd edges of FKA twigs, with vocal clarity and control matched by no one. The combination is intoxicating. One moment she's grinning like a doll and thanking everyone for their support, and the next moment she's contorted her face into a strange twist and posing perfectly on the beat. It's her voice, though, that's really something else. Her range is big, and her voice is strong, and clear, but she truly uses it like an instrument. Her performance isn't just about flashing her pipes, I mean the girl could blow the roof off if she wanted to belt out "Halo," it's about hitting the edges, and making sonic shapes with her violent volume shifts and intonations.
Often the concert goer romanticizes the notion of seeing their favorite acts in a smaller venue. Kimbra needs an arena. Her set was essentially just a shiny metal dress, and still her performance was epic. She is big. She could fill a stadium with her enormous subtleties. I want to see Lorde play an intimate show at Bowery Ballroom. I want to see Taylor Swift play an intimate show at Bowery Ballroom. I want to see Kimbra play The Garden with the works. Sure, she's weird, but she is also connected to the room. She's out of this world, but never out of touch.
Watch the video for her infectious funk-pop tune "90s Music," and picture all the oddball energy emanating from a grounded five foot force:
Continue below through some more concert shots...