Kate Nash's concert and the dress she wore had a lot in common; they were both feminine, classic and clean- cut -- but not without a bunch of playful edge added on.
London native and redhead Nash came to perform at Salt Lake City's In The Venue recently, clad in a black, felty dress with cartoonish white outlines of bones sewn on to what would otherwise have been a girly dress. The whimsical and quirky theme was extended to the stage complete with a piano covered with so many light bulbs that it resembled an illuminated bubble bath, a lamp with a dragonfly umbrella shade, and wispy tulle curtains that were set as the backdrop.
The Runaways' "Crimson and Clover" blasted as the songstress made her entrance with her band mates. With prim and proper mannerisms, she took a seat at the piano and began her first song.
Nash channeled Sixties' girl pop with upbeat, lively songs like "Do-Wah-Doo" and "Merry Happy," in which she scatted out playful and clever words about love. Every song at the Nov. 5 concert wasn't so girly and proper, though. In angsty numbers like "Mansion Song" and "Model Behaviour," Nash took a feminist stab at the ways of modern dating dynamics with some seriously poison lyrics. Between soft, flirty numbers she would catch the audience at an unguarded moment with some electric guitar squeals and vocal screeches that invoked thoughts of early grunge punk.
The audience was involved in the concert with sassy and witty sing-along choruses and clap-provoking melodies. The band incorporated unconventional instruments such as the xylophone and the ukulele, making the sound unique and unexpected.
Kate's likability shows with her songs in which she says frankly anything she wants about bad breakups, her views on feminism, her insecurities, and the little moments in life that often go unnoticed. Highlights of the concert were "Mariella," a song about an eccentric young girl who just didn't fit in, and the hit "Foundations," with a single piano note announcing its beginning that any fan can recognize.
Between songs, Nash told endearing stories about her life and tour that made her seem incredibly relatable and charming. Before performing "I Hate Seagulls," she announced, "This is a quiet one ...," politely asking if the crowd would cease cheering, and added, "Just shut up now ... let's all be friends" in her refreshing and thick English accent that permeates through all of her songs, making them ridiculously identifiable. She mentioned before she sang the "R 'n' B" Side that, "This is what I would sound like if I were in Destiny's Child." All of her little comments and anecdotes gave her an engaging charm.
In the last song of her two-song encore "Pumpkin Soup," she slammed on her piano in random spurts, and got so into the moment that she climbed up on the piano and jumped on the keys, only to trip and take a tumble to the floor - her equivalent of a rock star smashing a guitar at the end of the show.
Never one to quit, Nash hopped back on the bubble-bath piano and took one last jump, ending the concert with a climactic finish and a big smile on her face.
Emmie Oliver is a junior at St. Joseph Catholic High School. She can be found on the volleyball court or snapping photos in her free time. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate Nash "Doo-Wah-Do' video