The sixth part of my September show recap is the first in a two-part series. I could have just logged both concerts I saw in one day in one recap, but the second one is kind of a doozy, so I kept them separate. Adding to that, I’d love to highlight up-and-comers Gracie and Rachel!
This was a concert for work – I promoted Gracie and Rachel’s self-titled, debut record to radio. It’s a great collection of cinematic, well-arranged “art-pop” music, with heavy use of violin and piano. Gracie sings and plays said piano while Rachel provides harmony and plays the violin. Together they are a simple, tight band that’s a treat to see live.
First observation for me, as a violin player, was Rachel. I always gravitate towards any strings onstage at a show first, even before I focus on the lead singer. This situation was no different, and first thought was damn – she shreds. Often times I see bands with a violin player that are fine and it’s clear that there’s a lot of talent, but sonically it just sounds like a side dish to the whole musical meal. A nice stringed accompaniment to the main course. Not so with Rachel’s part in the group along with her playing. Her violin’s voice was strong and sang along with Gracie step for step, providing both excellent harmonies and counterpoints to the song’s structure. Her bow control was also incredible. I’m blanking on the exact word right now, but the lack of stops and start sounds between down-bows and up-bows was flooring to me. She was deadly consistent with an even, perfectly dynamic tone to her playing. I know I’m gushing, but as a violin player it’s always exciting to see someone super skilled in the field and playing shows like this in a club like Mercury Lounge or otherwise.
This is not to discount Gracie, her singing and piano playing and their drummer, though! On record, their music is tumultuous, with the violin and piano and voice and percussion cresting over magnificent peaks and rumbling down in dark canyons. Live, they translate those moods perfectly, with Gracie’s voice matching the pristine recording takes with ease. The drummer held his own as well, providing a booming accompaniment for the two performers up front.
Other observations: they did an acapella version of Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci,” saying that they do it at every show because she went to their high school and they hope that she notices them doing that cover someday. She hasn’t yet. They also teamed up on one song doing a really cool four hands piano approach. And I’m pretty sure Rachel took lead vocals on one as well? This was a few weeks ago now, so my memory of super specifics is foggy. Overall, they’re just an impressive, consistent band that are super stocked with talent. Even if one doesn’t care for the music itself, they could not deny that.
Morale check: This was a really great show and I had one right after in Brooklyn. This got me pumped to be on double duty for the night. Nothing worse than having to go to another show after a stinker. This was quite the opposite!