Gig Review: FKA Twigs At The Regent Theater

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

“Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This is a lesson we’re taught time and time again, but Saturday night’s FKA Twigs show at the Regent Theatre was a prime example of that.

FKA Twigs, whose birth name is Tahliah Barnett, appears fragile and soft spoken, but her talent and effortlessly cool aura have gotten many people the indie circle talking this past year. Her debut album “LP 1” received high praise from critics all over the world and even earned her a coveted Mercury Prize nomination for album of the year. If you give her album a listen through, you’ll understand why. And if you went to her live show, you’d be surprised as to why she didn’t win.

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Simply put, her performance at The Regent Theatre was sensually mind blowing. When her set time rolled around, the room fogged up as a progressively heavy electronic track echoed around the room’s walls. A hazy blue light shimmered and the refrain of “Preface” quietly began. Singing “I love another and thus I hate myself” over and over, Twigs slowly made her way to the middle of the dimly light platform. Though the pitch black lighting (save an orb of dark blue light) made it impossible to shoot, the set required it and plays well with the mysteriousness associated with FKA Twigs.

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Formerly a video girl, Twigs hunched over, pop and locked, collapsed into herself, and pretty much did every cool dance move you could think of during her set. Having been trained in ballet at a young age, Twigs slithered her petite frame around the stage as she performed the tracks off her debut record. Though Twigs does not play any instruments during her live perfomance, it was evident that she knows every milisecond of her songs–her jolty but seamless dance moves was in sync with every single beat.

As the night rolled on, Twigs sang other phenomenally textured tracks of “LP1,” including “Lights On” and “Kicks.” Her vocals on these songs and through her set were impeccable–the vocal range she exhibits in her studio versions are just as good live, if not better.

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

But as fantastic as Twigs was vocally, it was her persistence and perfectionist nature which made the audience fall in love with her. Half way through “Pendulum,”something had interrupted her intense concentration. But instead of playing it off like it never happened like many artists would have done, Twigs stopped and said that she has to do the song over again because it’s her “favorite song” and it “has to be perfect.” Not only are her syncopated dance moves impressive, but also her willingness to admit mishaps. Following this minor break, which did not turn off anyone in the adoring crowd, Twigs gave her all and sang “Pendulum” with grace.

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Joyce Jude Lee/ Soundsnspirits

Though Twigs’ set list consisted of mostly new tracks, she also played “Water Me” and “Papi Pacify,” two tracks off her earlier EP. As well executed as these songs were, the obvious (and predictable) highlight of the show was FKA Twigs’ peformance of “Two Weeks,” which was so spell bindingly beautiful it ought to be stuffed into a frame and featured in a museum. Though the lyrics are NSFW, audience members still sang along to every word of it. When the last chorus hit, the room, which had been dimly lit the whole night, assumed a blinding halo of light that engulfed Twigs’ tiny frame. After the song, the cheers in the room persisted. A shy Twigs accepted the compliments with her face looking down, but it was obvious that the show had been special to her. The British singer explained that LA holds the key to her heart as it was the place where she first ran away to make music freely.

The raptrous crowd applauded and hollered even more after her anecdote–the noise filled every corner of the room and a timid but evident smile shone on Twigs’ face. She had never been the main act before, but now she is, and she deserves it entirely.

Originally posted here.

-J

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