We stumbled into San Francisco to see one of our favorite artists Julien Baker perform at the Great American Music Hall last Thursday. This show was put together for Noise Pop 2017, which also had Julien Baker headlining last year at Bottom of the Hill. That’s where Justin first saw Julien, but this was my first time seeing her live (and the first of many).
There were two support acts performing to start the night - Miserable and Bobey. Bobey was an act straight from Oakland. He was quirky, quiet and his melodies were very catchy. One of his songs which was both of our favorites was about living on a minimum wage paycheck. His songs were a bit slow to get started but once they got going it was hard not to bop your head. He has a songwriting style similar to another artist that we like named Courtney Barnett.
Miserable is a band that showed up as a solo act on this night. Her reason: to play with the amazingly talented Julien Baker. Apparently the criteria of this Noise Pop show was solo acts only. So she strapped on a guitar and played her songs without a band to back her up. She had a more Rock genre compared to the Indie/Alternative style conveyed by the other two artists. Needless to say, both of the opening acts killed it.
|Julien Baker - "Happy to Be Here"|
On to the headliner, Julien Baker. Her subdued sound captivated the audience in an almost haunting way that had all of us mesmerized. Her awkward humor and all around sweetness filled the silence between songs in a way that wasn’t forced. She will always be a favorite artist of ours with her genuine performance and powerful lyrics that have so many relating to her.
She played three new songs that will probably be on a new album (aka songs not on Sprained Ankle), including Funeral Pyre and Happy to Be Here. A fun fact Julien pointed out was Happy to Be Here debuted at Noise Pop last year. It’s always nice when an artist drops history notes on their songs, especially when they use an event in San Francisco to debut a new song. Happy to Be is so powerful throughout that it's like the powerfulness of Rejoice multiplied by 2. The crowd refused to let Julien end her set after the last song in her set, so the cheers and chants got her back on stage to sing Go Home.
This was an incredible night of music, and we are glad to have made it out to this particular show. Julien’s album is frequently playing in car rides, but hearing her live is an experience that fans need to take advantage of. We’re already looking forward to seeing her again this year, but most likely somewhere else along the west coast.
|Julien Baker - "Rejoice"|