The Paper Kites
November 19th, 2016 at Brighton Music Hall
By: Emily Grinberg
I arrived at Brighton Music Hall fairly late, but despite the venue being packed, I still managed to make my way to the very front in time to see the opener, Horse Thief perform. The psychedelic folk-rock group from Oklahoma City casually walked onto the stage and just began to play. Lead singer and guitarist, Cameron Neal, was very minimalistic in his movements, but it didn’t draw back from his stage presence because he was so focused on the music itself. A few high pitched screams erupted from the audience, as Horse Thief made it known that they had in fact toured with The Paper Kites before, displaying the prominence of some true fans in the crowd. Before they finished their set, they played a new single from their upcoming record dropping this January.
While the crew started to set up the stage, Christina Lacey from The Paper Kites came out to help them. I watched as she graciously fidgeted with all the wires to her keyboard and told a fan she would sign her copy of their album. The small venue allowed for an intimate experience and for all of the fans to feel acknowledged by the band. The Paper Kites opened with their hit, “Revelator Eyes,” off of Twelvefour, their sophomore album. Twelvefour is a concept album, where all of the songs were written between the hours of twelve and four in the morning. This allowed the entire performance to have a dreamy, mellow vibe. Fans were delighted when they said they were going to play “Holes,” a song that was recorded for Twelvefour, but was never released. In between songs, singer Sam Bentley announced that it was their fourth time playing at Brighton Music Hall, and that they had a prank war going on with Horse Thief, so he’s scared of “what might be coming tonight.”
The highlight of the concert was when they decided to shut the lights off for two songs, including their most popular track, “Bloom.” The venue had some lights that simply didn’t go off, so it wasn’t their complete vision; however the inability to see them play made their voices and harmonies stand out that much more. Everyone closed their eyes, peacefully whistling along, and when the lights came back on the room was silent – everyone in awe of the moving experience that just occurred.
The band closed with two of their more well-known songs, “Electric Indigo” and “Featherstone.” As soon as they exited the stage, the audience craved more, and just like I had hoped, The Paper Kites returned to the stage for an encore. This time, they went a cappella, as all of the band members stepped close together and began to sing “Halcyon,” a soft, emotional track about love. It was amazing to see that the entire band, not just the main vocalists, could sing beautifully.
The Paper Kites seemed to have cast a spell over the audience with their performance. I left the show that night on a musical high created by their elegant rhythms and addicting voices. Don’t worry; even though it was supposed to be a secret, Sam Bentley may have let it slip that they would be back to Boston sometime soon.