Indie folk up-and-coming singer/songwriter Jade Bird passed by the Bowery Ballroom in NYC a few weeks ago to preview some new material from her impending 2019 full-length album release. She also gave stellar performances of a lot of the fan favorites from her debut EP Something American.
Jade started off the night with the mellow, intimate What Am I Here For which features just her tremendous vocals and acoustic guitar. This introductory song selection was a clever idea since it is on the slower, relaxing side of the spectrum. As the final song on her EP, Jade decided to mix up the vibes and grab the audience with this song instead of leave them hanging with it. Next, the band came on stage for a powerful version of Cathedral, which has recently received a lot of radio play. This song stuck out since it was the first full band song of the night and the first time the room filled with the rock and roll tones of Jade Bird’s music. The rocking energy continued with Good At It, followed by a memorable rendition of Side Effects.
Next, Bird played an outstanding version of Ruins, which led into the boisterous and fun vibes of Does Anybody Know. To mix up the set a bit and throw a curveball at the audience, Jade performed a cover of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God).
The music jammed on with If I Die and Uh Huh. Although Jade’s sound is pretty solid with just her and her guitar solo, the backing colors make her even more of an exciting act to follow. Next, she played Hold That Thought, which led into a Bangles cover, Walk Like An Egyptian.
For the final two songs of the night, Jade played Love Has All Been Done Before and then she closed out the night with her hit single and fan favorite, Lottery. This version of Lottery will always stay with me because she mixed up the melody a bit and changed the pace of the song. Jade Bird is truly a one of a kind, budding rock star. While she possesses a timid, small stage presence, when she sings into the microphone and strums her guitar the audience is mesmerized by her surprising power.
Scott J. Herman