Live Review: Girlpool + Waxahatchee / Electric Ballroom

Last night saw Camden’s Electric Ballroom undergo a US invasion as Waxahatchee (aka Katie Crutchfield), along with support from Girlpool and PINKWASH, joined the likes of The Clash and The Smiths as one of the long list of names that have taken to the stage at the iconic venue. It was Waxahatchee’s captivating 2013 release Cerulean Salt that began to cement the headliner’s popularity, and a mixture of tracks from this album were inevitably played along with tracks from new album Ivy Tripp, which was released in April this year.

PINKWASH certainly got things off to a loud start, taking to the stage not long after doors opened and playing uproariously to the small crowd of early arrivers gathered in front of the stage. Lead singer Joey quickly transformed from soft spoken “we’re so happy to be here” to furious headbanger, with drummer Ashley (who made an appearance with all 3 acts) earning the nickname “lightning bolt” after drumming with such an energy that a broken drumsticks incident occurred.

The sound of PINKWASH gradually began to draw in more and more audience members, so by the time Girlpool took to the stage not long after, the venue was nearly full. The LA duo’s popularity was evident with shouts and hollers from onlookers heard before they even began to play their first song – the pair instantly had the crowd charmed with the intimate feeling of their set. Playing a solid set of tracks from new album Before The World Was Big and their debut self-titled EP, Girlpool definitely deserved the rapturous cheers and applause they received after each song. Even having to bring popular track Before The World Was Big to an early halt didn’t phase the duo, with light-hearted jokes about the situation earning further cheers from the crowd. Girlpool are definitely a duo to see live, and their impressive set created a sense of anticipation for Waxahatchee that reverberated throughout the, by this point, packed venue.

Oozing effortless cool with an all-black outfit and a beer in hand, Katie Crutchfield and her band of four walked on stage to a series of deafening cheers and whistles from the buzzing crowd. The punchier sound of Ivy Tripp lent itself to Cerulean Salt tracks whilst maintaining the intimate sound of Waxahatchee’s earlier efforts. Tracks like Brother Bryan and Air made the set feel quite personal and heightened the sense of intimacy, the entire audience captivated by Crutchfield’s closed eyes and angelic vocals – it was all about the music. Heartfelt thank you’s and mentions of how far the band was from home further enchanted the audience, and it was clear by the sheer volume of the cheers and applause at the end just how much everyone enjoyed the performance. It’s rare to see someone captivate a varied audience as Waxahatchee did last night, and I, along with many others I’m sure, will definitely be back for more in the future.

Words by Tabitha Green

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