Taylor Acorn

Taylor Acorn • World’s First Cinema • April 27, 2024 • Soundewell

Reviewed and Photographed by Logan Fang

On April 27th, Salt Lake City had the pleasure of welcoming Pennsylvannia-native Taylor Acorn to the Soundwell stage where she played for a sold-out audience. The venue brimmed with excitement as people overflowed into nearly every corner of the building. Among the concertgoers were several dedicated young fans watching their first live concert with posters in hand. With catchy hooks and intoxicating melodies, it’s easy to see why Acorn’s music has such an appeal to music enthusiasts of all ages. Well before the concert even began a staggering line was already congregating to purchase some of her hottest tour merch, including what seemed to be a favorite—some signed polaroids taken prior to the show. Taylor’s Good Enough tour was joined by LA-based band World’s First Cinema who opened the night with a pop-rock performance of their own. 

World’s First Cinema

At 8:30, World’s First Cinema took the stage performing several of their edgy pop hits. A few songs into the set, Cinema’s lead singer John Sinclair broke out his violin to play tracks like “Holy Water” and “The Woods.” Throughout energetic pieces like “Young Beast,” he alternated between performing vocals and extensive solos on his violin. Cinema’s song “S.O.S” perfectly blends Sinclair’s electric rock melodies on the violin with traditional pop instrumentation to create (like their name suggests) a cinematic listening experience.

Like many of their other darker songs, “S.O.S.” is an introspective number about feeling lost and calling for help. In between songs, Sinclair was sure to express his gratitude for the packed venue and share a couple of witty anecdotes about the band’s humble beginnings and their journey. Cinema’s personality in both their gritty lyricism but also stage presence lent a kind of relatability to many of their reflective numbers. 

Taylor Acorn

After a well-received performance by World’s First Cinema, we waited a little while for Taylor to take the stage. In between the acts, eager children dragged their parents to the merch stand where it seemed that sweatshirts had become the new hot item. While the audience grew antsy in anticipation for Taylor’s performance, the lights inevitably dimmed as she sprinted on stage, kicking her set off with “Gray,” a track from her EP Certified Depressant. The album is a candid documentation of Taylor’s personal struggles over the past couple of years, packaged in an emotional 8-song album.

After Taylor made her way through a handful of picks from the release, she performed the crowd-favorite (and personal favorite) “Good Enough.” The number is similar to most of Taylor’s other songs in its message but unique in how the track layers fuzzy guitar lines over her edgy vocals. During the song, Taylor paused to greet her young fans in the audience and allow them to sing the chorus into the mic. In a couple of other numbers, she bent down to give them each high-fives which made them ecstatic. 

About halfway through the set, World’s First Cinema returned to the stage accompanying Taylor on the violin. At one point after the feature, Taylor jokingly said she wished she could play the violin too. With Acorn’s powerful vocals and Cinema’s heavy riffs, the duo’s performance showcased each artist’s unique talents. Rounding out Acorn’s set after her collaboration with World’s First Cinema, she concluded the night with her emotional piece “Shapeshifting.” The pop-rock anthem is reminiscent of late 90’s/2000’s punk, but it is also an raw and intimate piece about Acorn’s complex relationship with her emotions. Nonetheless, “Shapeshifting” was an upbeat number that captured the emotional depth of Acorn’s repertoire. As Taylor continues to grow in the pop-punk community, I’m excited to see what other pieces she puts out.

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