All photos: Lotanna Obodozie
My excitement for this show had been months in the making. Ever since seeing that Tahliah Barnett, known to many as FKA Twigs, was finally, finally touring the United States signified the fruition of multiple dreams. As the months, weeks, then days ticked by, my anticipation grew steadily, until the day had arrived; I was finally getting to see one of my favorite artists perform live. I arrived early for the show, but by the time I had gotten there, there was a line outside that spanned nearly the entirety of the block. Apparently, I was not the only one who couldn’t wait for the show. Once inside the 9:30 Club, the crowd had begun packing themselves as close to the stage as possible, leaving little room for any sort of movement, but somehow it was alright, considering that the show was going to start so soon. The air of the club was buzzing with energy, as the crowd patiently waited through a quick performance by the opener, Boots, and a near total dismantling of the stage, as the stage was being prepared for Twig’s performance.
Finally, the lights went down, the music that had been playing on the speakers went off, and Twigs glided onto the stage, clad in a flowy cream-colored outfit. From the minute her set began, I knew that this was not going to be your average concert. She commanded the stage with an understated confidence that I’d never seen in a performer before. She was otherworldly, seemingly on a whole other level that none of us could even dare to touch. Her ethereal grace was matched with a dazzling light setup that changed throughout each song she played.
Prior to the concert, I was afraid that she would only play songs from her debut album, LP1, which is undoubtedly one of my favorite releases of the year, but her older material is among some of the best music I’ve heard in recent years. Luckily my concerns were quickly quelled, as she performed a solid mix of both older and newer material throughout her time on the stage. Twigs has a background in dance, so her show was not without some of her beautiful, but sometimes eerie dance moves. (Note: check out her video for Google Glass for a sense of what I’m talking about.) Her movements were at times rigid and jerky, but she still managed to maintain a fluidity and gracefulness that is also reflected in her music.
About halfway through the set, she and her band stopped playing, and she quietly asked for all of the lights to be turned off and for the security guards to leave her audience alone and stop getting in front of the stage. (Bad bitch alert!) The set then continued without a hitch, and it was amazing to note that the crowd, who was so raucous prior to the show, was now so hushed throughout her songs. Twigs had that effect on everyone; while being only one person (with three backing band members) the club was hers, and hers alone. She obviously has a clear vision as to what she wants her image and performance and set to be like and she sure as hell delivered it. She did not play an encore, but with a show that was as amazing as hers, she didn’t need to. She had already shown that she is able to give a performance that will leave concertgoers (or me, at least) speechless.
– Lotanna Obodozie