Waxahatchee @ White Eagle Hall in Jersey City (10/9/2021)
Photos and words by Rosi Lamela
I first heard of Waxahatchee about four years ago when I was volunteering at WFMU’s Monty Hall. She (i.e., Katie Crutchfield) was doing a show there and her beautiful voice immediately caught my attention, which then later drew me to her 2017 LP Out in the Storm. I listened to it quite a bit but lost it in the mix of other music I was constantly being introduced to.
Over the years, Waxahatchee would randomly pop up on my Spotify rotation. They’ve always been one of those artists that I find myself re-discovering every time I hear a song I like to only find out it’s Katie Crutchfield’s voice. Oddly I’m not a fan that has followed her closely, but a fan that has liked every song I hear of hers.
When I heard she was not only playing at White Eagle Hall in Jersey City but sold out the show, I remembered the very quaint show 4 years earlier. I discovered their latest LP Saint Cloud and decided to hold off and listen to it live instead. I am so happy I made that choice.
Katy Kirby opened up the show and I was introduced to her music for the first time. There were a few fans standing next to me that told me she was a great new artist to check out. I really enjoyed her lyrics that tell a story poetically. “Juniper” is super catchy and I was able to recognize it right away when I played her album Cool Dry Place after the show. “Portals” is another song that I played a few times while running some errands this weekend.
The main event was very much welcomed by the fans that gathered Saturday night at the sold out show. They kept calling out for Crutchfield to come out onto the stage as it seemed there were some teasers with the dimming of the lights. The band first entered the stage as we waited for the main attraction. When Katie took the stage she seemed to float towards the mic in her dress and bare feet. The audience was so quiet throughout her songs as if any chatter would threaten to detract from the energy in her voice.
She played a few songs from Saint Cloud like “Oxbow”, “Can’t Do Much” (my favorite), “Hell”, and “Lilacs”. She also played a few covers like Gillian Welch’s “Wrecking Ball” and Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” during her three song encore.
I left Jersey City knowing I had a new album to listen to. Maybe this time I should give Waxahatchee a bit more attention since the music keeps slipping into my rotation and her voice continues to stun me. Listening to her live gives the studio versions little justice, so I guess I will need to see her live again. If she hasn’t made it into your rotation, perhaps you need to start listening to better music.
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