October 11th, 2016 at The Royale
By: Cassia Wallach
“While her appearance is unassuming and approachable, it only takes one song to know that Hill feels the most comfortable on stage.”
If there was ever a tough act to follow, or in this case open for, it would be Marian Hill.
Verité, the performer who was awarded this responsibility, unfortunately was not able to meet expectations. The over-sexed Brooklyn based singer slinked around the stage, flipping her hair while subjecting the audience to an hour of pop music full of disjointed electronic sampling. At one point, she was double fisting her mics; holding one over her shoulder and singing into the other. The Brooklyn based singer was not a sonic fit and did not manage to convey any of the subtlety that Marian Hill’s music and performance contains.
In stark contrast to Verité, when Marian Hill hit the stage, she patiently waited for the cheering to die down and leaned into the mic, whispering, “Let’s get a little bit wild.” She did not feel the pressure to overplay anything, even when starting her set.
While her appearance is unassuming and approachable, it only takes one song to know that Hill feels the most comfortable on stage. She commanded the attention of the audience with a sassy kind of swagger, an attitude which was echoed by her two fellow performers – a saxophonist/bassist and keyboardist who were equally as enthralling and musically talented. The two instrumentalists were able to execute a successful stage takeover, jamming together for a few minutes. The audience soaked up the sounds that Hill and her backing band brought to the Royale. The crowd, which was complete with every age range and level of intoxication, featured an abnormally large number of attendees who spent the entire concert lavishly salsa dancing.
Her lengthy encore included a repetition of the song “One Time,” the irony of which was not lost, and afterwards the modge-podge crowd piled out and headed home.
Ultimately, even if you are a bandwagon Marian Hill fan, or not a fan at all, I would have to argue that it would be almost impossible not to enjoy yourself at one of her shows. Even if the music isn’t to your taste, the people-watching definitely will be.