tUnE-yArDs - Crescent Ballroom - 6/3/2014
While dancing, I thought a lot about the negative scrutiny that Garbus seems to receive and how unfair most of it is. A lot about Ms. Garbus has been called into question. Her sexuality, her gender, her authenticity. Yet, one thing I realized no one has tried to cross-examine is whether Garbus does drugs or not. I mean, even if her personal life is none of our business, her inspiration is the kind of frenetic cut-and-paste that most people normally associate with strong entheogens. So it's kind of strange that no one has called her a druggie, as stupid as such a label would be to begin with.
But after this show, I can be sure of one thing -- at the very least, Ms. Garbus does not smoke anything, because that would devastate her ravishing vocals. I've never seen a performer so elastic with the way she stretches her lungs. It was nothing short of astonishing. Sometimes the music would swell to a roar, but you could always pick out debris from the sonic tornado.
Without a doubt, Tune-Yards has been one of the best shows I've seen this year. As many people want to cut her down, she really proved she is the "Real Thing" and it wasn't by telling so much as it was showing.
Last Night: Sylvan Esso, tUnE-yArDs at Crescent Ballroom
The Crowd: Kind of boring, honestly, but enthusiastic at least. Y'all need to dress up more and pretend it's not Tuesday night. That's the whole point of selling out a venue mid-week -- acting like it's Saturday every night.
Personal Bias: I recently learned that Merrill is a hero to many women I am lucky enough to know.
Overheard: "We couldn't have asked for a better first show in Phoenix," Sylvan Esso told us. I do hope they return -- even if I'm not their biggest fan, it was obvious to me that there are plenty willing to fill that role in the Valley of the Sun.
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