Show Review: Kate Nash and Miya Folick at The Fillmore, 4/9/18

by Dakin Hardwick on April 12, 2018

Kate Nash is somebody that too many people have forgotten about. She put out Made Of Bricks, a massive, brilliant record of bright, yet jaded, pop nearly 16 years ago. The kind of album Elvis Costello could have done if he had been a teenage girl. Her follow up, My Best Friend Is You, recast her as a garage punk heroine. She put away the piano, picked up the guitar, and managed to put out an even better record than her first one. It was such a departure from the first album that few fans followed, and with her name tied to the unfairly mocked “pop” genre, few fans of garage rock followed. This is OK, because this gave her the freedom to follow that with the riot grrrl flavored, lo-fi masterpiece, Girl Talk. And, just this last week, she followed up Girl Talk with yet another reinvention. Yesterday Was Forever is another lo-fi treat, with her signature sharp, biting lyric writing, fuzzy guitars, and adding in analog drum machine beats and trap-influenced syncopation, making a very surprising and highly listenable record.

I wondered how this record would carry over in the live show. I also wondered, with such a wide-ranging catalog, how well things would flow. So, I made my way to The Fillmore on a Monday night to see one of the great modern songwriters in action.

Opening the show was a performer by the name of Miya Folick. She opened her show with a sparse, delicate number spotlighting her stunning soprano voice. The first half of her set consisted of beautiful, often chillwave influenced, music. A groove would kick in, but only to complement Folick’s stunning voice. Then, at the 20-minute mark or so, Folick introduced a song called “Trouble Adjusting.” For some, the song title expressed how some audience members may have been feeling. No more delicate, sparse sounds. This song was an all-out guitar rave up! Folick’s soprano was almost gone, replaced with an intense scream. The second half of her all too brief opening set stayed in this vein of heavy, blistering rock ‘n’ roll. The subdued bandleader was now a monster on stage, and the world is a better place for it. Folick is one to keep an eye on.

After a delightfully short intermission, Nash’s band, known as “The Girl Gang,” came out dressed in matching white jeans and T-shirts. They played a punked up instrumental piece simply called “Play,” followed by Nash running out onto the stage, dressed in a pink leotard, a belt with pink hued, clear vinyl fringes, pink fishnets, and a tiara. It was one of the most adventurous costumes I’ve ever seen on stage at The Fillmore. She sat behind the keyboard, and the band played about 30 seconds of her first single, “Foundations,” but Nash was filled with far too much energy to stay still for long, as she jumped head first into an aggressive, guitar laden version of “Mouthwash,” also off her debut record.

Nash rarely stopped moving during her nearly two hour set. She clearly has picked up some moves from her role in the show GLOW, as the was putting the full force of her entire body into each move on stage, often jumping from a crouch, while managing to shake her booty and not miss a single note or gasp for air, all simultaneously. Kate Nash might actually be superhuman.

The only time Nash even kind of calmed down was when she gave a lovely, heartfelt plea for the acceptance and support of folks going through mental health struggles. She gave a tender, yet passionate reading of “Musical Theatre,” as just her and an electric guitar on a nearly fully darkened stage. She brought the mood back up by bringing back “Foundations,” only reinvented as a blues rock jam. The main set closed with an especially chaotic version of “Merry Happy,” which ended with Nash playing the keyboard solo with her knee, followed by simply jumping on the keyboard, causing the keyboard stand to collapse under the weight of a superhuman. Nash, in true form, didn’t miss a single note as she went down, and continued to play the now broken keyboard on the floor, before heading off stage.

The setlist listed a cover of Meredith Brooks’s ‘90s hit “Bitch” for the encore, which has been delighting people throughout the country. Instead, we got a big, triumphant version of “My Little Alien,” which prompted audience members to wave their lighters in the air, including one talented dancer, who made a fireball in his hand while dancing. Thank God he was skilled enough not to burn down the historic venue we were in. But although the music was over, Nash wasn’t done trying to prove to us that she possesses powers that mere mortals do not have. As “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” (from Dirty Dancing) began to pump over the speakers, Nash convinced one of the crew members to join them onstage. Then, as Nash ran to the crew member, he grabbed her, lifted her into the air, and recreated the legendary kiss while being held in the air scene from the movie!

Kate Nash pulled off an incredibly impressive performance. One of the finest shows I’ve seen in a long time. Several days later, I’m still feeling the incredible, intense joy that this set gave me. Everyone in attendance truly did have the time of their lives.  

Looking for more pictures? I’ve got a slew of them up on my Flickr page!

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