BY SOFIA ARMANDO//
Hello my fellow GWU community, DC dwellers, and music lovers! Welcome back to DC’s Acoustic Audit, where I write about up-and-coming artists and explore DC’s local music scene. I first have to say that I’m having such a fun time writing these articles and attending all these concerts. It’s been such an eye opening opportunity for me and has helped me fall in love with music again in a way I never had before. Writing these blogs might’ve even sparked some clarity into what I should potentially study in college and pursue afterwards. It truly shows that one never knows whether they are meant for something unless they try it. Who knows where writing these small blogs might lead me?! All I know is that I’m thoroughly enjoying writing these, not just for those who read them but as my own form of self-expression. I never thought I’d be involved in writing; but here I am nonetheless, and I’m having a great time! Just like I had while attending FINNEAS’ concert.
I took my roommate with me this time around to the 9:30 Club, the biggest venue I’ve been to yet. We got into our spot in the very long line formed outside the venue; the waiting turned into short, pleasant conversation with the other fans around us, all there for a common purpose and bouncing off of each other’s excitement. We make our way inside and shortly after, Marinelli makes his way onto the stage, the opening act for the Optimist tour. During his first song, “Pity Party”, Marinelli faced some feedback from the monitors and told the crowd he was gonna start over. He handled the whole situation with humor and charm, making a joke to the fans while the production crew worked on fixing the situation.
After receiving the OK to start again, Marinelli went on to deliver an amazing set of music with such a unique approach to alternative-style production and songwriting. What I mostly loved was the singer-songwriter element to his music, his lyrics reminding me of those of the band Never Shout Never. Marinelli did an amazing job at connecting with the crowd not just with his music, but by sharing a bit of his funny, shy, charismatic personality through his interactions with the crowd. For someone who had never performed in front of a crowd until the Optimist Tour started, he was totally confident and comfortable on stage. I hope he continues to perform and that I’ll be able to see him again in front of an even bigger crowd of fans someday
My favorite thing about going to these shows so far is not knowing what to expect. I go in with very limited knowledge on the songs, the background of the artist, or what the artist sounds like. Yes, I knew some of Finneas’ songs and had listened to The Optimist album when it came out. I knew he started off in a highschool band, I’ve watched some of his interviews, and I knew he’s produced for multiple of the most well-known musicians of today, including his sister Billie.
I, however, had absolutely zero clue on who Finneas was as a solo live performer and vocalist, so I was incredibly excited to go through the official Finneas concert experience. Needless to say I did not leave the venue dissatisfied.
The Optimist album is a more personal, contemporary take on the sound Finneas has crafted with Eilish, although he keeps his moody and alternative edge. His usage of “Bennie And The Jets”-via-“Super Rich Kids” piano-pop on “The Kids Are All Dying,” and Imogen Heap-style digital balladry on “The 90s,” had me absolutely floored. What’s more, “Peaches Etude” further proved that Finneas’ doesn’t need lyrics to catch someone’s attention, the song having me hope for a movie score from him someday. I had never doubted Finneas’ musical genius as a producer, but I was completely shaken by his raw talent as a performer and entertainer. There was not a single second where he didn’t have the whole crowd in the palm of his hands, keeping us on the tip of our toes between songs by switching back and forth from sitting on the piano to standing with his guitar. His top-notch musical talent and his rockstar stage presence, all paired with beautiful stage graphics and lights to emulate the energy of every song, made for an electric concert performance.