Full disclosure: I really love FKA twigs. Now that a week has passed since she graced the stage in D.C., I think I can properly write about my experience in a coherent way.
I came to love her when I first heard her EP2, released September 2013. The artistry in “Papi Pacify”, being tender and doubting all at once, made me realize that this was where I wanted music to go. I wanted more artists to be daring, stretching the bounds of their creativity and melding genres. I wanted my music to sound like it was from the future yet still be relatable to present times.
That’s what I got from twigs. By the time her debut album LP1 dropped August 2014, I had already become a fan for life. So as soon as she announced tour dates that weren’t just in New York City, I bought tickets immediately, begging my friend to order mine for me since I was on a bus home and the wifi connection was unreliable.
Her show at the 9:30 Club was on Nov. 6. Doors wouldn’t open until 10 p.m. since there was also a comedy show happening before that. Even though that meant there was plenty of time, I wanted to get there early so I could be at the front. Being at the front meant two things for me: since I’m only five feet tall, I needed to be as close to the stage as possible to see and I needed the setlist after the show.
Usually, my friends were not as enthusiastic as I am about getting there early and being at the front but this time, I found a friend who was just as eager as I was. As soon as I got home from my internship, I got dressed and left at 7 p.m. By the time I got to the venue around 7:30, there was already a line forming for twigs.
Fast forward to 10 p.m. when doors were supposed to open but didn’t until 10:15 p.m. As soon as they did, my friend and I rushed in, securing our place front and center, hugging the barricade. The opener, Boots, came on a little past 10:30 p.m. and it was a fair effort to get us warmed up for the main act. I couldn’t remember much from his set because the sound was uneven; the instrumentation overwhelmed his vocals and I couldn’t discern a single lyric tumbling out of his mouth.
Finally, twigs came on a little past 11:30 p.m. to loud, frantic applause. Multiple declarations of love and marriage proposals were screamed at her as she calmly and stoically took the stage. From then on, it was a blur but I remember being in complete awe of this extremely talented artist. Even with her dancing that shifted from sensual to jerky, she was able to hit high notes with ease. Her breathy vocals did not come off as weak or unsupported; in fact, they were piercing and hypnotic, cutting through the layers of instrumentation to hit the audience straight on. Her performance was stunning, equal parts professional and passionate.
At the end, I did end up getting a setlist and waving to her as she quickly hid away in a white van and drove off from the venue. I was still in a daze for the next few hours, even stumbling to my class the next morning on a hazy high. Seeing twigs perform has to be one of the top 10 best live shows I’d ever been to. Truly. Ask anyone and I doubt they’ve ever left a twigs show unsatisfied. If twigs is playing at a venue near you, I highly recommend you go. Here are the rest of her tour dates in North America:
11-13 Chicago, IL – Metro
11-14 Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line
11-17 Vancouver, British Columbia – Commodore
11-18 Seattle, WA – Showbox
11-20 San Francisco, CA – Regency
11-21 Los Angeles, CA – Regent
11-26 Austin, TX – Parish
11-28 Dallas, TX – Trees
11-29 New Orleans, LA – Republic
12-01 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
12-02 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
12-03 Orlando, FL – The Social
Watch her live performance of “Papi Pacify” if you need more convincing.
More photos from the show