By: Aubree Schill, Roadie
Note from the Editor: When I saw that Jade Bird was coming back to Utah, I knew UCR had to cover her concert again. We’ve been lucky to have covered Jade from the beginning and are so excited where her career is going. I have had the pleasure of reviewing Jade’s previous stops in Utah so for this tour as much as I wanted to cover the show, I thought it might be interesting to get another takes on this brilliant up and coming singer songwriter. Then just a few short months ago, I had the opportunity to Interview Aubree Schill of the band Roadie, an up and coming singer songwriter in her own right. During our interview, we discussed our mutual love for Jade Bird. A lightbulb went off. “What if I had Aubree review Jade when she comes town next?” I felt like getting the perspective of an artist who is a fan as well as on the path Jade herself trod not long ago would be the fresh take on this show I was hoping for. Well, as it turns out that’s just what happened. Here is Aubree’s account of Jade’s most recent visit to Utah. It turned out just as I hoped it would.
One of the first things I read about Jade Bird when I discovered her music was that she had “a voice that can silence the busiest bar.” At that time, I couldn’t have agreed more, but now I think this statement could be updated: “a voice that can silence a crowd of thousands.” She played for her third time ever in Salt Lake City on April 6th in front of the largest crowd I’ve personally seen her at yet. Opening for Hozier at the Union, she braved the crowd of likely around three thousand with her voice and guitar alone. And she owned it.
Being able to look back on the last times I’ve seen her live, it’s incredible to witness how comfortably she’s adapted to performing for larger and larger audiences, while still maintaining the quirk and charm that she’s had from the beginning. While her merchandise booth wasn’t receiving nearly enough action before the show began, it was bustling with newly devoted fans by the time the night ended. By the first song of her set, she had clearly won the crowd over—anytime she’d wail out a powerful note, the onlookers would immediately cheer and applaud. Her strong, unapologetic style of performing is absolutely captivating, and I’d be surprised if there was a single person in the room that wasn’t drawn in by the power of her performance at some point during her set.
Before the show began, I had the opportunity to chat with Austin Roa, Jade’s touring photographer. He gave me the heads up that Bird had debuted a brand new song at her Denver show the night before, and he was hoping she’d perform it again tonight. The love and support her crew has for her is one of my favorite things about her as an artist—it says a lot about a person when those closest to them are so thrilled to be a part of their project. The new song, “Honeymoon” easily lived up to Roa’s hype. Melodically, it’s simultaneously fresh and catchy. The crowd was quick to jump in with accompanying claps as she played. I’m honestly sad that tune won’t be featured on her upcoming
Along with the new tune, Bird played all of the recent singles she has released. It’s always such a pleasure to listen to the stripped down version of a song and hear the bare bones of how it was originally written. Bird’s songwriting is, in a word, fierce. Playing them as a solo act did nothing to lessen the fierceness in her music and, if anything, made it even clearer how brilliantly each song is written. She easily holds her own on stage, whether backed by a full and energetic band (as she performed previously at Kilby Court) or alone with her trademark white guitar (as she has throughout this tour).
She closed her set with her classic tune, Going Gone. I’ve seen very early recordings of her performing this song, so I know it’s
This attitude is what made her such a perfect match for Hozier’s tour. During his performance, he could be seen grinning from ear to ear whenever he wasn’t singing. He very clearly loves what he’s doing and has an intense passion for creating and sharing his music. Jade Bird is the exact same way with her performance. Her love for music is infectious— spreading through to her crew, her fans, and even those hearing her for the very first time. As a musician, these are the people I look up to. They’re the ones that inspire me to keep at it because there’s nothing like seeing someone who is truly living their dream.
For those of you who missed this stellar performance, don’t fret! She mentioned to me that she’s planning to come back SLC’s way this October, so keep an eye out for this “Good Woman” to cross the pond again; and in the meantime, pre-save her debut album, set to release on April 19th, to prep!