girl in red brings high energy to Milwaukee

Indie+artist+girl+in+red+performs+at+the+End+of+the+Road+music+festival+in+2019.+

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Indie artist girl in red performs at the “End of the Road” music festival in 2019.

I have never seen a stranger crowd waiting in line outside of The Rave than I did when girl in red and Beartooth played on the same night. Sunday, March 27 The Rave was filled with both young indie music fans and older hardcore punk fans. The Norwegian LGBT singer girl in red visited Milwaukee on her tour to promote her first studio album, “if i could make it all go quiet.”

British singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone, who boasts a following of over two million monthly listeners on Spotify, opened for girl in red. She took to the stage alone and performed all of her music herself on multiple keyboards and a guitar. Her sound ranged from upbeat indie-pop reminiscent of American musician Lauv to slower and more melancholy tunes.

The singer opened with “Overkill,” followed by “Please Don’t Leave Just Yet,” and “Sleep Tight.” A charismatic but seemingly shy performer, she engaged with the audience by telling the story of the first song she ever wrote, “Deep End.” The song was written in support of her younger sister, who was going through a difficult time. She also performed her recent single “London Is Lonely,” and explained to the audience how she recently moved to London from the English countryside. Humberstone ended her set with an unreleased demo and teased the audience that she would send the track to them if they messaged her on Instagram.

Then girl in red took to the stage soon after in an energetic frenzy. Accompanied by appropriately red strobe lights and a screaming crowd of fans, she opened with “You Stupid B****.” She performed mostly songs from her new album such as “Body and Mind” and “I’ll Call You Mine,” but also intermingled several of her earlier releases, including popular tracks such as “girls,” “we fell in love in october” and “bad idea!”

With each track, the lights onstage changed to perfectly compliment the vibe of the song, from a melancholic blue for “I’ll Call You Mine” to a warm combination of yellow and orange for “we fell in love in october.” She expertly mixed upbeat music with a few mellow tunes, but overall was a very high-energy performer, even jumping into the audience to crowd surf twice throughout the performance.

She also told the crowd not to be afraid to dance, and her band enthusiastically hyped up the fans throughout the performance. She acknowledged the young audience, noting the number of parents who had brought their kids to the show and gave advice to first-time concertgoers, telling them that the most fun is had at concerts when you stop caring what other people think and just enjoy the music.

She closed the show with “Did You Come?” saying that she wrote the song about being cheated on despite never having been cheated on, and one of her biggest hits, “i wanna be your girlfriend.”

Overall, I was impressed with girl in red’s performance. It was obvious that she cares a lot about connecting with the audience and making sure that everyone has fun. However, as a college student, I was surprised to see so many people younger than myself in the audience. Along with their youth came a seeming lack of knowledge of concert etiquette. There was a lot of pushing and talking during the show that I found quite annoying, maybe I should have stuck with the Beartooth crowd.

This story was written by Grace Flynn. She can be reached at grace.a.flynn@marquette.edu.