On her first official show in San Francisco, California, Kelsey Byrne (aka VÉRITÉ) performed to a sellout crowd at the popular Rickshaw Stop. You wouldn’t think it was the second-to-last concert stop on her current headlining tour (dubbed her Underdressed Tour) with Byrne seeming to have excess energy to burn as she sung and danced on much of the available stage throughout the hour-long set, all the while giving shout-outs to opening solo pop/R&B act LostBoyCrow, all the “beautiful” people in the audience and the joy of independent music.
I won’t repeat her comment about music labels, but the independent singer-songwriter translated her defiance to music industry norms by singing her own songs and wooing old and new fans with her genuine personality and saying a lot of f-bombs (never mind that it was an all ages show on a weekday night).
A lot of VÉRITÉ’s synthpop sound takes time to build up (think the soulful “Underdressed” and emotional “Sentiment”). In a live setting, the constant slowing and revving of melody and tone can negatively alter a show’s atmosphere and pace; however, VÉRITÉ rarely slowed long enough to disturb the show’s pace – the exception being her cover of Childish Gambino’s “Sober” which is sort of a ballad anyway – and paused only to showcase her personality with quick banter and brief reveling in the delighted audience.
The show’s mood never really changed due to Byrne’s excellent command of her music and a proper and proportional setlist. Byrne and her music continually engaged the crowd and practically forced people to bob their heads and dance shoulder-to-shoulder in place as she bounced between fan favorites “Constant Crush” and “Wasteland.”
Having caught VÉRITÉ at a music festival last year, there was a definite maturation in Byrne’s stage presence. She was charismatic and confident, and her oohs and aahs hit all the right notes. She closed the evening with the very catchy “Weekend” much to the dismay of many since it meant the show’s end.