02.21.23 – Photos and review by Jordan Zinda
Despite the fact that the Twin Cities were teetering on the precipice of an impending (read colossal) snow storm, the winter weather warnings did little to keep concert goers away from Minneapolis’ own Fine Line Music Cafe this past Tuesday night. Fresh off the release of her fourth studio album ‘A Reckoning,’ Kimbra, the New Zealand native had at long last made her way back to us. From the looks of things, the line in front of the venue in particular, the doomsday snowfall would have to, more or less, bury us alive before anyone holding a ticket decided against attending.
Worries washed away as excited fans pooled into the venue to support Kimbra on her latest tour. As support for her ‘A Reckoning’ tour Kimbra brought along the multi talented, singer, songwriter and producer Tei Shi. First to take the stage, the New York City based artist did the absolute most with minimal assistance on stage. Aside from the actual stage design, her set was a one woman show. Tei Shi and her performance oozed passion for not only the music she has created but also the source of those musical ideas.
The almost tribal drum beats served to amplify her belting when appropriate and again served as an excellent counterpoint during softer moments. Despite the brief 30 minute duration, the experience felt other worldly. Her voice is one to be reckoned with, both powerful and poignant it carried every bit of emotion intended. Between singing she spent time pondering to us in the audience and queuing her own backing music, taking complete control of the situation. When she wasn’t doing that Tei Shi used her voice and vibe to take us on a journey away from the cold and the monotony of day to day. If you’re not already familiar I’d suggest taking note, she’s somebody to watch.
A minute or two after 9:00pm the headliner was upon us, the band took the stage, the lights dimmed, and Kimbra made her way to center stage. The set opener “Save Me” did wonders to set the tone for the rest of the evening. The cerebral and self reflective anthem served as an electric start and an open invitation into Kimbra’s own headspace. Following that up with another pair of new tracks off ‘A Reckoning’ further solidified the therapeutic approach Kimbra uses in creating her soundscapes. Between songs she explained a bit of the reasoning behind her latest album. Birthed out of the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘A Reckoning’ is the product of Kimbra facing, naming, exploring, and accepting her different emotions. Her humanness if you will. And every ounce of that reflection was something those in the crowd felt in waves.
Her ability to translate universal human emotion into her music and use it as a communication tool is perfection. Despite how emotions vary person to person, her breakdown in lyrics is transferable to most anyone, and certainly true for all those in attendance Tuesday night. The potency of her voice in combination with the worldly instrumentation was a treat to the ears and even more impactful face to face. The show fluctuated from absolutely boisterous and booming, something like a city street, to the more somber and soulful with the intimacy of sharing a bed. A range of emotions and skill were on display as she blistered through her set list before ending appropriately with the closing track off ‘A Reckoning’ titled “I Don’t Want To Fight” leaving us all with a very full circle and complete feeling.