By Kate Connor
On the 28th of September, Glasgow’s O2 Academy opened its doors to welcome American singer/songwriter Gracie Abrams.
This is the 24-year-old’s second performance in the city, having performed at Oran Mor just last year.
After a few songs from opener, Searows, to warm up the audience, the lights went down, and the familiar rush of anticipation flooded through the venue. Cameras were pointed in position, ready for Abrams’ arrival to the stage.
Her set began in darkness as her backing band took their places behind their respective instruments. The familiar opening pulses of “Where do we go now?” sounded and suddenly there she was. Until halfway through the opening song, only a silhouette of Abrams could be seen, a clever design choice to set up the ambience for the night.
We were taken on a journey with Gracie’s music, experiencing simultaneously along with the rest of the crowd, the ups and downs of a relationship. It felt like we were falling in and out of love with each song that played. From songs like “I should hate you” and “I miss you, I’m sorry” to “Feels Like”, Abrams takes us through the different emotions that comprise a relationship.
She later sits down at the piano to talk directly to the audience. Many people who are not a fan of Abrams or her music might be under the influence that she is a so called “nepo baby” and perhaps she might be (her father is well known film director J.J. Abrams) but she expressed her difficulties growing up in the home she did.
“This song was one of the ones that I wrote that felt like the angstiest, as a kid, and I had like nothing to do really because I have strict, very strict– do any of you have strict parents?” Abrams said with a laugh, backgrounded by piano chords. “I was not often attending parties instead I was writing by myself.” She continued before introducing her next song “Minor”, which was the title track of her first EP.
There was only one minor mishap throughout; during her performance of “Fault Line” Abrams was obligated to stop midway due to someone fainting towards the front, which seems to be a common occurrence at live shows nowadays. Things were sorted soon after due to the efficient moving events team. The whole show was full of love, friendship and was generally a lovely environment to be a part of, however brief.
Third year English and Creative Writing Student.