Merrill Garbus, the New England musician behind the music project, Tune-Yards, has kept herself busy over the course of 2018. Her latest album, I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life, was released early January and has made multiple lists of some of the “best albums of the year.”
Earlier this week, Tune-Yards, along with the pop experimental music project, US Girls, embarked on a joint North America tour. The Fall dates kicked off Thursday, October 18th at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles. On Saturday, October 20th, the two projects took the Fillmore stage in San Francisco for a memorable night of music and dance.
Sometimes, seeing your favorite artist live can be a wonderful moment, a memorable one you lock away in your special box of memories. Sometimes, seeing an artist live can be a wonderful moment, something everyone should experience in their lives though if you do, make sure it is a venue like the Fillmore. Whether you, as a music fan who loves to be up close and personal with an artist, front stage, on the dance floor, near the sound system so you get that full blast of music or you are the type of music fan who prefers the intimate gathering of friends, sitting at a booth, a drink in hand as you watch the musician perform their heart out. The Fillmore is that place.
The crowd that gathered together in the theater may have been both young and old but they all had one thing in common; they were all there to listen to and watch women making music just for them.
Standing alone under the brilliant hues of red, blue and orange, Garbus entered the stage. Lights change as she starts the night with the song from the past, “Bizness,” off Tune-Yards 2011 album, Whokill. The moment Garbus belts out the first note, the entire room erupted in admiration and applause. As the lights change, a white glow surrounding Garbus, her shadow sketched out on the curtain behind her and while the song slowly comes to the end, two of her band members walk on stage giving life the surrounding instruments.
With smiles on her face, Garbus went straight into her second song. Lights change to purple, Garbus dancing around in circles as she sings “Honesty,” appearing happy on stage. She knows how to command the stage, she knows how to bring the audience into her world. The set did not include a lot of intimacy, stories between the artist and the crowd, it was all about the music. Garbus went from one song to the next without stopping, though there were moments where she made contact with those in attendance. Before sprinting into her third song, she asks the crowd to close their eyes and let the music fill their souls.
Tune-Yards show Saturday night was not only music driven but it was also full of an ever-changing light show, flipping on and off like a light switch, changing colors as though the curtains behind Garbus was a mood ring. With every song, different lights would appear.
Before Garbus turned in for the night, she had some encouraging words to those in the audience; “remember you have power, especially in these days.” With that said, she closed the night with her song, “Heart Attack.”
Tune-Yards Set List:
3. ABC 123
5. Coast to Coast
8. Water Fountain
9. Real Live Flesh
12. Heart Attack
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat