Kimbra moves the Metro
Published: Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 22, 2012 23:10
A 22-year-old New Zealand woman hops and skips her way onto the stage wearing a frilly and puffy dress covered in pinks, greens and golds. Hundreds of fans packed inside the Metro in Chicago on the rainy and dreary night of Oct. 17 are immediately enthused about Kimbra’s appearance on stage, and begin to scream and hoot at her. She constantly feeds off the audience and feels the music, quite literally, down to her bones causing her to hop around stage, throw herself to the floor and spin around every second she gets. Kimbra, who was virtually unknown at this time last year, has bubbled over and spilled her incredibly heavy musical talent all over the United States.
There is not much known about Kimbra, at least not yet, besides the fact that she is an incredibly complex individual. It would be most apt to compare her music to an onion. It is unimpressive at first, but when the layers are peeled back it gives off a strong punch of flavor. Her music is a beautiful mixture of jazz, soul and pop. Although she is only 22 years old, she sings as though she has been to hell, back to earth, and lived through thousands of harsh relationships. Her personality immediately fills the room and causes crowds to stop and listen to what she has to say.
Kimbra slowly began to play through tracks from her debut album “Vows,” but put a soft and unique twist on all the songs that she trickled through. She did not just stand there and sang each lyric word for word; instead, she would sometimes simply speak some words are add vibrato to keep the audience interested. Although her interaction with the crowd was not straight forward, her bright smiles and constant motions towards them make it obvious that she was happy to be in their presence.
Some songs she mixed live, such as “Settle Down.” She kindly hushed the crowd and started to record some scatting, then began to quickly layer them. As she broke into the song she danced around, grabbed a tambourine and slapped it on her hip, protected by a giant frilly multi-colored skirt. Throughout the night she would scurry to the back of the stage, toss of a section of her wardrobe and reveal an even crazier attire than the one before it.
Her airy and sweet voice hypnotized the audience whenever she slowed down the tempo and went into any of her slower songs. But eventually she would push herself and belt out a voice that would resemble Ella Fitzgerald then slow back down to a sultry tone. Her voice would fluctuate to different ranges and hit them perfectly.
Her encore included some songs that are not on the U.S. release of her album. “Call Me” and “Withdraw” were her last solo songs for the night and they left the crowd ecstatic. While singing “Withdraw,” Kimbra got a little choked up, lowered her head and the crowd cheered at her trying to cheer her up. But a song that kept the crowd up all night was a song from her album called “Warrior,” which she collaborated on with Mark Foster from the band Foster the People. This was her most pop-filled song of the night and helped everyone travel back to the 80’s with its catchy lyrics and electronic keyboard.
Kimbra definitely brought herself up a level with her highly impressive and lively performance at the Metro. If fans were patient enough, they could have waited for her to come out of the building and snap a picture with her, which she was more than happy to take. But under her sweet and caring exterior is a low flame which hopefully will grow to great heights without getting blown out by other foreign female soul singers like Adele and Jessie J.
Kimbra’s album “Vows” is available on iTunes.