From Indian Lakes, Half Waif, and Sidney Gish
September 28th, 2017 @ Afterhours
By: Casey Martin
An eclectic indie lineup produced an unexpectedly ambient atmosphere in Northeastern’s own Afterhours on a quiet Thursday night. Sidney Gish, Half Waif, and From Indian Lakes each brought a unique aura and sense of individuality to the room that was as invigorating to the crowd as it was tranquil and reflective. The intimate venue only enriched the connection between the performers and the audience, giving each listener their own unique experience.
Sidney Gish took the stage first, an unassuming and lighthearted presence, who drew the crowd in with her witty lyricism and crystal-clear melodies. A Northeastern student herself, Gish sang her youthful and playful tunes while maintaining an air of maturity. Her lyrics were clever and emotive, and she sang them with a raw honesty. This attests to Gish’s strength as a songwriter and her ability to captivate the crowd with an effortless simplicity. Gish is even nominated for a Boston Music Award as New Artist of the Year, which is an impressive feat for such a young indie-pop artist. But, after hearing her set I can’t say I’m surprised.
(Authors note: Vote for Sidney Gish at the BMA’s here!)
Sandwiched between two solo performances, Half Waif definitely stood out, both in stage presence and complexity of sound. The entire set had a transcendent, ethereal quality that was ardently delivered and felt by Half Waif’s frontwoman, Nandi Rose Plunkett. Plunkett commanded the keyboard as rich, electronic soundscapes wove together with the band’s beats and Plunkett’s hypnotic voice. Some moments were delicate; others were powerful and soul-awakening, the contrast creating an overall dynamic performance. Each song was resplendently layered with a myriad of sounds and echoing, melodic vocals. Plunkett spoke in between a few their songs, talking about the inspiration behind her latest release form/a, and even sharing her excitement in hearing her own song while in a store. Half Waif’s performance felt deeply personal and exhibited a balance of both heaviness in emotion and weightlessness in dreaming.
From Indian Lakes was the final act, and he proved that a singular, down-to-earth soloist could entrance an entire room. Joey Vannucchi—front man, writer, and producer of the band—performed solo with only his electric guitar and gentle yet authoritative vocals to fill the stage. And that he did, pouring himself into each song with a quiet intensity. The stripped-down performance allowed the crowd to focus on Vannucchi’s intricate rhythms and haunting lyrics. The emotion of his melodies was projected through his performance, pulling the listeners in from one song to the next. From Indian Lakes’ act was enriched by his rapport with the crowd as he spoke candidly and casually between each song, creating a conversational atmosphere with the audience. Vannucchi’s laid-back personality was endearing, and his quips about college, touring, and performing in a Starbucks were a mellow contrast from the deeper, moodier rhythms and pining vocals of his performance. The result was a beautifully fluctuating show, with From Indian Lakes seamlessly taking the audience in and out of a warm and thoughtful musical reverie. From Indian Lakes’ relaxed and vulnerable performance set the crowd at ease and ended the night peacefully. The three acts together presented a sublime night of music that was a pleasure to experience.