Concert Review: Genevieve (formerly of Company of Thieves)
It’s been a great deal of time since I’ve openly cried at a concert — better yet, a great deal of time since I’ve cried. The tears I experienced during Genevieve’s set on Wednesday were not tears of discouragement, rather tears of delight and pureness. CD102.5FM Radio and Promowest presented the ultimate tear-jerker last night, as Genevieve, formerly of Company of Thieves, kicked off her solo EP tour.
From 2007 – 2014, Genevieve toured with her indie/alternative rock band, Company of Thieves. Single “Oscar Wilde,” from the band’s 2007 record Ordinary Riches, was featured as iTunes “Discovery Download” in 2009, further thrusting Company of Thieves into fame. Alas, and sadly-so, Company of Thieves’ era has ended, and Genevieve has continued her busy, artistic routine. Genevieve’s EP, Show Your Colors, is for scheduled release March 10, celebrating her enthusiasm with life and experience through her poetic vocals and 90s-inspired pop backbeats. Wednesday night at The Basement, Genevieve debuted ten songs for her Columbus audience.
With such a small stature and a modest speaking voice, Genevieve’s stage presence is the limelight of her performance. It is very difficult to pin-point female musicians who represent a genuine representation of themselves and their music. So often, female musicians are heavily influenced by the expectation to represent a certain image within our modern-day music culture. Surely, it is quite the statement to be bold, unique and outlandish, but is there an element of artistic integrity lost when an artist’s image is capitalized? Without the glitz and glam, would this message still transcend? Without a doubt, these musicians are captivating and exotic, although, these records are not creating a deep-rooted experience with their listener, or perhaps individuals like myself.
Musicians who communicate through their music are the most influential of all. Genevieve does exactly that. Similar to the lyrical approach as Fiona Apple, Lorde and Sia, Genevieve has the gift of creating relationships with her audience. In the small confines of The Basement, Genevieve welcomed us into her memories, and her contemporary approach as she debuts her solo EP. With her Crayola-colored hair, golden sequined crop top and fire-truck-red Doc Martens, Genevieve was enthralled to shower her audience with color — in representation of her EP, Show Your Colors.
Each track began with a brief narrative, Genevieve sharing her experiences and memories which inspired her writing. Often themes of heartbreak, growth, discovery, self-assurance and celebration of life, Genevieve effortlessly displayed these extraordinary emotions with immaculate ease. Like a novel of self-affirmations, Show Your Color’s tracks often remind the listener of the beauty that is so often masked by a shadow — whether that shadow is a bad day at work or an insecurity. The Basement show kicked-off with sheer excitement and support from the sardine-packed venue, Genevieve immediately in the brink of tears as she took the stage.
Third track in the set, “The Enemy,” was the commencement of her emotional release with the audience. As if we were all huddled in the basement of her home, Genevieve interacted with the audience as if these lyrics were personally written for each one of us. She began the track with a brief, “It’s rare to find and create an intimacy with someone, as well as an intimacy with yourself. Ultimately, it’s rare to learn to love yourself through this intimacy.” Genevieve began the track with her keyboardist/synth player, drums and bassist, occasionally reaching her velvet-y falsetto break, cooing “I’ll never be your enemy.” Goosebumps rippled down the back of the audiences necks and arms, as Genevieve moved like a slow tide on the early morning of a beach.
The band continued to evolve from a two-piece to a four-piece, each track providing a diverse orientation in order to compliment Genevieve’s angelic vocals. The set continued with tracks, “Lemonade Skies,” “Human Again,” “For You,” “Other Side” and “Authority,” Genevieve gliding from all corners of the stage, her arms like antennae, reacting to her surroundings. As each track began, her subtle giggles warmed the audience, invoking a genuine, heart-felt ambition in sharing her music with the crowd. During Genevieve’s last track before the encore, “Authority,” the four-piece showcased each of their instruments with such camaraderie. Genevieve began solo on the vocals, repeating a phrase in eight separate octaves while the guitarist looped her lyrics, her last octave resulting in an impressively falsetto ring. The loop served as the undertone to the entire track, each instrument progressively finding their place within the composition. A slow groove melted through the entire audience, each individual holding onto their final moments with Genevieve’s performance.
After a brief break between the set and encore, Genevieve and her band re-surfaced for their final track, “Colors.” Cheeks flushed and eyes glazed over with tears, Genevieve thanked CD102.5FM Radio profusely, and graciously shared her love and appreciation for the local radio station who aided in Genevieve’s solo project. “Colors,” the released single off of the Show Your Colors EP is everything alternative/indie synth-pop should be — radio-friendly, playful and dance-inducing. In my opinion, it’s everything Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” tried to be. Genevieve picked up her tambourine and danced through every color of the rainbow. As she physically and vocally expressed her lyrics to the audience, the crowd found themselves celebrating with Genevieve, shedding every worry, insecurity or set-back — the perfect conclusion to the hyper-emotional evening.
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