How do I always manage to stand behind the only two obnoxious drunk girls at every show? I don't know, maybe I have magical powers, but I did my best to block out their frantic screaming during Tor Miller's set. The indie alt-pop singer entered the stage with a smirk on his face that screamed, "Hello ladies, I'm a gentleman that would hold the door open for you" and a button down shirt tucked into his pants. Classy and timeless at first glance, the music that followed matched his style perfectly. He sat down at his keyboard and started wailing away. He even heard the terrible girls screaming during a quiet moment of the song and he reacted with a comical "what the fuck" under his breath, causing the entire crowd to laugh and lighten the mood.
Miller continued to show off his killer vocals and the well-rehearsed band laid down super tight grooves. He would fill out each word with vibrato and end it with a quirky little shriek, which truly made his voice one of a kind.
One of the highlights of his set was his song, "Baby Blue." Even though every song shows off his voice well, this one in particular had him doing vocal acrobatics. At the end, they stopped all of the music and Miller sang the full chorus a cappella in perfect unison with his bandmates, which resulted in massive cheers from the crowd. He also did a cover of Bonnie Raitt's "I Can't Make You Love Me" with nothing but his voice and bass guitar, and it honestly, that's all he needed.
The only criticism I have for Miller is that he needs to ditch the piano. He sat down for the entire set and stood for two songs, when he should've reversed that. Miller is a fantastic piano player, and I get that he's going for the Elton John thing, but being stuck in one spot on stage crippled his ability to engage with the crowd. There was an enormous difference in the show's energy when he stood up. If I had to describe the way he danced, I would say it's like if Bruno Mars chugged four cans of Red Bull and then really had to pee but there was no bathroom. And I mean that in the best way possible. His dancing was so endearing, energetic, different and relatable. If people saw that right off the bat, they'd swoon *even more*.
After a quick set change (thank you so much, Bowery Ballroom), Aurora appeared onstage looking like a beautiful Cinderella, sporting a platinum updo, a grey velvet top, and glistening arm sleeves.
All of the music blended together perfectly. Aurora's well-controlled, reverb-soaked vocals mixed together perfectly with the instruments and especially her backup singer, who also had a breathy, angelic voice similar to hers. One thing I loved about the quirky singer's live show was how she really took her time with each word. Her band would slow down at the quieter parts of the songs so Aurora could take her time and really feel everything she was singing. It was like an experience not only for the crowd but for her as well. It didn't seem tired or like she had been singing the same song over and over again every day for the last month, but it seemed like it was brand new.
Here's something we already knew: this girl is the definition of purity. She sings about innocent things like seeing the world through the eyes of a child and being grateful for life, and that's why she's so likable. After each song, there was silence, and then insane cheering that lasted for a solid minute. You could feel the crowd falling a little more in love with both her music and her whimsical personality after each and every song. It was refreshing to see a crowd so transfixed by someone's music to the point where they're standing completely still, in complete awe and total respect. Aurora, a 19 year old woman from a different country, had the entire room under her spell. She took us, twisted reality, and brought us into her own little weirdo world. And that's what makes a great show. The singer who's reminiscent of young Bjork has the ability to transport someone elsewhere through a wall of sound, which is a special thing that not many can do.
And watch our killer session with Aurora below.