Felicity – Rockwood Music Hall (New York, NY)
Watching 19-year-old New Yorker – by way of Australia, South Africa, and Denver – Felicity perform last night at Rockwood Music Hall I kept thinking back to what I was doing when I was her age; most notably using my chalked ID (is that even still a thing?) to get in to the bars and clubs in my college’s town to see local and touring bands perform. The last thing on my mind would’ve been performing in a room I couldn’t legally get into on my own. And yet, that’s exactly the position Felicity was in last night.
Mental gymnastics into the past aside, I was quickly brought back into the moment by her powerful and resonant voice – reminiscent at times of Florence Welch, Sia, Adele, and, one of my personal favorites, Jess Glynne. Joined by cellist and film & TV composer Danielle Merlis and her Grammy award-winning producer Brian Kierulf on piano and guitar, Felicity’s vocals more than filled out Rockwood’s candle-lit Stage 3 in a performance that was in stark contrast to her publicly-released works.
Listening to her latest single, “Pilot with a Fear of Heights” (which you can, and should, do below), you get the picture of an up-and-coming pop star whose voice is balanced-out and complemented by the music behind her. Last night, however, there was nowhere for her voice to hide; and while it was sometimes a little too big for the room, she never failed to rein it in. With talent that simply cannot be taught, her voice will only get better and more defined under the tutelage of her producing team and continued work in the industry.
The highlight of the night, as if half a dozen songs in this intimate venue wasn’t enough, was the impromptu encore. Upon realizing they had time for one more song, Felicity and Kierulf quickly huddled to decide on what they would play; emerging a few moments later with their decision to play a track they had not previously rehearsed with Merlis. “It’s in F sharp!”, Kierulf helpfully added – and they were off. Throughout the first verse, you could see the wheels turning in Merlis’ head, and it wasn’t before long that she found her way in and played effortlessly throughout the remainder of the song – even prompting Felicity herself to stop and remark on her performance mid-song. It was a beautiful moment of music-making, and emblematic of one of my favorite things that we humans do together.
(Show Date: 2/23/2017; Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez)