Written by Michael Getzler
It was the kind of weird that just built on itself. We were all in pyjamas; there was ice cream; we were in the lobby of an undergrad dorm. It was freezing out. It was almost Valentine’s Day.
It was the kind of music that could not be stopped.
The “venue” didn’t particularly lend itself to the occasion, with people passing back and forth outside on their way to their rooms, the printer, or to the treadmills, not caring about how much noise they were making. On top of that, a good chunk of the crowd had obviously only showed up for the free ice cream and fondue. Then there were the microphone problems, and at one point, the light fixture that fell down right in front of the performers like some kind of metaphysical pun about bringing down the house.
And you know what? It was a kickass show.
Eden Becher opened the night perfectly, starting with a cover of Vance Joy’s “Riptide.” It was exactly the right kind of music in which to take shelter from the subzero February night. Eden’s manner of singing – haunting and soulful yet always with a smile – was captivating, and she was able to reign control over the crowd with her original songs, all about love and longing.
Next up was Liberty Styles, a jarring and cacophonous break from Eden’s cool and cozy brand of slow-and-sweet. Liberty makes music by looping and layering her voice while tap dancing over it. She recently added a guitarist (Sam Klein-Markman), a keyboardist/flutist (Maurice Marion), and a talented freestyler (Jonah Hemphill) to her act. People were dancing on chairs, flailing around, needing to move to this arousing mix of sounds and dancing and rapping and spoken word.
It was clear these guys haven’t played too much together, but their raw chemistry was pretty astounding. Jonah Hemphill and Liberty each have their own way with words, but what a way it is! I would not have thought they would mix well together, but they sure as hell made a convincing argument to the contrary.
The last act, Big Lizard, was an unknown entity coming in, something that didn’t change much after their set. To be honest, they stuck out among the crowd; they dressed less conventionally, seemed a little older, a little rougher around the edges. They rapped alongside Nico West’s guitar playing, and the mix wasn’t so much coherent as it was striking.
When I think about it, that choppiness is what made the night so special. Each set had an entirely different feel, and it was an atypical venue, but good music is good music and it’s been a while since I’ve had such pure fun at a show.
Listen to Eden Becher's music here: https://soundcloud.com/edenbecher
Listen to Liberty Style's music here: https://soundcloud.com/libsty