April 28, 2024

Waxahatchee played Brooklyn Paramount

Waxahatchee came to the new Brooklyn Paramount to support her latest record Tigers Blood, one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year.

In the last four years, Katie Crutchfield, aka Waxahatchee, has had a meteoric rise in popularity largely in part due to her phenomenal album from 2020, Saint Cloud. After a brief run with her pal Jess Williamson as the country duo Plains, which included the excellent record I Walked With You A Ways, Crutchfield returned earlier this year with the stunning follow-up record Tigers Blood, cementing herself as a generational songwriter full of shimmering promise and the ability to live up to the hype. Backed by an illustrious band, Crutchfield meandered to the stage, her face hidden under a KC baseball cap, as she slowly dove into the opening number "3 Sisters" during which she tossed her hat into the crowd as the song hit its pivotal moment, and from there the energy of the night only began to sky rocket. Starting off the show with the first three songs from the new record set the tone of the night and even at just over a month after its release, the audience was dialed in and ready to go. There are moments throughout Waxahatchee's songs that make them inherently her own and a vivid moment of this defining skill is the way she sings "I" and spreads it out to give it extra hang time in her tracks and as she dipped back for "Can't Do Much," that moment crystalized for the first of several times during the night. The crowd responded with a rousing cheer, everyone eagerly shouting along to her blockbuster lyrics that hit even harder when a room of 2,000 people sing them back in unison. "Give 'em something to kick up dust about" hit with conviction during "Problem With It" which was a surprise and a highlight, the Plains single fitting in wonderfully with the rest of her solo material and as she got to "The Eyes," the crowd once again crushed the moment to sing "lit up" in her perfect twang. Already a highlight of the year, "Right Back to It" was tremendous and somehow beat all expectations, its power and reverence making for an all-out stellar performance that had the entire room swooning with Crutchfield's marvelous drawl. Sticking to her most successful albums to date, with a dash of Plains thrown in, this new era of Waxahatchee feels limitless and as if her potential is only just beginning to emerge as she arrives at this new, epic status and phase of her career. Picking up the pace, "Bored" was a rocking track that let the band stretch out and let loose, her vocals putting in the work as well to hit the high notes and led nicely into "Lone Star State," another new standout from Tigers Blood. She hit the "I" once again for "Crowbar," another song with a swing to its beat that had the crowd shuffling along with carefree bliss. Nearing the end of the night, she took things down a notch with "Ruby Falls," a slower number that felt delicate in such a large space and seamlessly transitioned into "The Wolves," making it seem like the two songs were always meant to play in succession and gave us all another special moment from the set. As she hit the guitar lick for "Lilacs," the crowd erupted with passion and the night soared into a new stratosphere and the elation was plastered all over her face. Joining in on the swelling chorus to close out the new album's title song and set closer was the opening band Good Morning and as everyone came together to finish things off, the sheer looks of pure happiness was astounding and it's hard to imagine anyone in the room not feeling that emotion radiated back to them in abundance. The encore was full of highlights as well with the mystical "Oxbow" giving Crutchfield one of her greatest vocal deliveries of the night, her flow hitting with perfect diction and inflection and closing it all with "Fire" was a sublime send off. At one point during the show, I saw the couple in front of me compose a tweet that read "Waxahatchee at Brooklyn Paramount sounds better than U2 at Sphere" and while I can't compare the two myself, it would be hard to deny that this tour has Crutchfield swinging for the fences and knocking it out of the park with total brilliance, affirming it as one of the year's best shows.  

Set list:

01 "3 Sisters"
02 "Evil Spawn"
03 "Ice Cold"
04 "Can't Do Much"
05 "Problem With It" [Plains cover]
06 "The Eye"
07 "Hell"
08 "Right Back to It"
09 "Burns Out at Midnight"
10 "Bored"
11 "Lone Star Lake"
12 "Crimes of the Heart"
13 "Line of Sight" [Plains cover]
14 "Witches"
15 "Crowbar"
16 "Ruby Falls"
17 "The Wolves"
18 "Hurricane" [Plains cover]
19 "Lilacs"
20 "Tigers Blood"
21 "Chapel of Pines"
22 "Oxbow"
23 "365"
24 "Fire"

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