Live Review: Big Thief at The Old Fruitmarket

By Daniella Theis

After a sold-out show in May last year, Brooklyn band Big Thief returned to Glasgow yet again – this time at the iconic ‘Old Fruitmarket.’  The rain did not deter people from coming to see the band as the show was again sold out.

The band left nothing to chance; opening the show with the older classic ‘Masterpiece’ from their second album, they straight away stole all of their dedicated fan’s hearts – loud cheers and dancing filling the room from when the very first chord was struck.

As the evening went on, fans got to indulge in several classics such as ‘Shark Smile’ and ‘Mythological Beauty’. The band also did not shy away from introducing several new songs to the crowd which were still all very well received.

One thing that prevails from previous shows is the band’s undeniable connection – the way the whole band is so seemingly perfect in-sync, all whilst still oozing a stage presence that is real, and contagious.

Throughout the entire show they are dancing, headbanging, laughing. Every lyric; every chord even, feels very intense and real. This is definitely something that gives the band a great appeal on top of their outstanding musical performance.

Last year, the band toured just after releasing album ‘UFOF’. Still, many of the songs that featured on their newest release ‘Two Hands’ had already made an appearance in several live shows. ‘Shoulders’ and ‘Not,’ both featured on the latter, still have the full crowd engaged and singing along.

It was evident that ‘Not’ was especially loved by Glasgow’s crowd. The cheering afterwards felt very prolonged, especially as singer Adrianne Lenker shared that the song was actually written in Scotland. Apparently, it was not just Big Thief that captured Glasgow’s hearts. Lenker went on to say that the band “love this city,” and that there was “something special here.”

Towards the end of the show, things slowed down in terms of heaviness and more acoustic songs were played including the well-loved, happy sounding song ‘Cattails.’ The riffs of the almost summery sounding song were so sharp and distinct, and it had everyone swaying and smiling. The dreamy song ‘Orange’ saw the whole crowd captivated by Lenker’s voice – a voice that is something truly unique.

Songs like these showcase Lenker’s almost polished, dreamy voice in a nearly fragile way. While others, such as ‘Not’ or ‘Contact’ show that she can be just as much of a musical powerhouse and belt out raw emotions.

Overall, Big Thief’s show was nothing but a perfectly coordinated, emotional and well-received success by Glasgow’s music lovers. While there are no official announcements for any future albums or Glasgow shows, there is hope that we will get to welcome this amazing band back to our city soon. When we do, I am positive that they will deliver again, and again.