By Pedro Paredes //
A sold-out crowd descended upon The Chapel on the final night of January for Julia Holter, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter who has collaborated with other musicians such as Nite Jewel, Linda Perhacs, and Michael Pisaro in the past.
It’s always nice when The Chapel sells out. It’s a small and cozy venue, and when the place is at capacity, you can really feel the room’s energy.
Opening the show was Circuit des Yeux, Chicago native Haley Fohr’s solo project. When the venue’s lights went out and Fohr quietly stepped on the stage with her 12-string guitar, there wasn’t much of a reaction from the crowd. Fohr appeared rather shy and didn’t interact with her spectators a whole lot, but she let her hypnotic music do the talking — and consequently, the audience was blown away by the end of her set. Fohr has a very unique voice with a deep baritone, and at times, she created distorted sounds by increasing the intensity of her vocals and using other noises/shouts to bring her sound to another level, turning the volume up and then down like the tide rolling in and out.
Holter arrived onstage next with a few sidekicks, including a double bass player, drummer and violist, the latter of which also contributed some impressive backup vocals throughout her performance. Much to the audience’s delight, the ensemble played a majority of material from Holter’s latest LP Have You in My Wilderness, which received favorable reviews and was one of my favorite albums in 2015, along with some songs from her previous records. Holter’s songs are multi-layered, well-produced and full of arrangements, and with her band in sync, her SF performance was one that definitely delivered.
Horns Surrounding Me
In the Green Wild
Betsy on the Roof
Don’t Make Me Over (Dionne Warwick cover)
Sea Calls Me Home