What do you do when it’s a friend of a friend of a friend’s birthday and the boyfriend of said friend of a friend of a friend is busy (you still with me here)? Well clearly you invite the friend of a friend of a friend over for an impromptu dinner complete with birthday cupcakes and then drag him to a show that he may or may not know anything about. It was one of those nights where I could already tell that my small group of friends was going to hit a level and I was more than okay with that. There was something in the air and a sense of electricity lighting up the atmosphere as we walked into First Avenue and it led to a night that I wish never had to end.
Rozzi got the night off started off in the most beautiful way. Her voice soared through the air with ease and a sense of perfection that I truly wasn’t expecting from the Wednesday night show. With just her behind a microphone and an acoustic guitarist standing by her side, Rozzi had no issue when it came to filling the legendary venue with her sound and energy. Her ten song set flew by but not before it packed a punch. Although I was much more in the mood for some up-beat dance music (I’ll blame that on the alcohol consumption) and Rozzi was serving up a more calming mood, it was obvious that she had no issue captivating the quickly growing audience. She has credited Adam Levine (lead singer for Maroon 5) for putting her on the map after he ‘discovered’ her but honestly, it was just a matter of time. Her voice, her look, her energy– everything about her screams ‘star’ and I can’t wait to see her take over the scene.
The only other act performing was the one and only Betty Who. Hailing from Australia, Betty Who (born Jessica Anne Newham) has taken the scene by complete storm but not before a grueling grind that took her from The Triple Rock to The Fine Line to, now, First Avenue. Seeing an artist grow that quickly and after witnessing the hard work that goes into growth like that is definitely one of my favorite things about this job. Add the fact that everything about Betty Who is so genuine, fun, and well, full of love and you are left with my new favorite performer. The second she took the stage with a giant smile stretching across her face there was something that swept through the air. Giving me the second wind that I needed to get through what would turn into a long night, I knew within the first few seconds that, although I wouldn’t be able to sing along to every word like the people around me, I was going to have the time of my life.
Anthemic, poppy, and dancey were the names of the game when it came to Betty Who’s lengthy twenty-four song set and two song encore. I was honestly shocked when I counted up the songs and realized just how many she and her band had performed. The night seemed to be over in the blink of an eye but I blame that on the amount of fun everyone in the audience was having. As mention, Betty Who’s music is dancey and poppy. Almost edging towards the electronic scene, it’s the type of music where, even if you don’t typically dance, there’s no way to just stand still. From the pumping bass to Betty’s impressive range when it comes to her vocals– everything just adds up to create the perfect night out no matter why you were at the show or who you were with. Seriously her set was perfection from her dance moves to her voice to her dancers to her incredible band– everything about last night was perfect and fun and I honestly don’t think there was a single moment where I wasn’t smiling so much that my cheeks hurt.
Beyond the perfection of Betty Who’s stage show and sound is how genuine of a person she is. She talked about her climb to where she is now and how she had always wanted to play at First Avenue but never thought she’d get there (well there she was and she nearly had the place sold out!). Something felt so real about her as she noticed two girls in the front row wearing cute outfits and went as far as taking a selfie with the excited girls. You could feel Betty Who’s heart throughout the show but also just when you bought a ticket to the show. $1 from every ticket sold to last night’s show was donated back to The Trevor Project which is a non-profit that helps LGBTQ students feel safe at schools. An important cause for her demographic (I’ll come out and say it– she’s pretty much the queen of the gays right now and I absolutely adore that), I love the way that she is using her new found fame and popularity to better the community, not just rule it.
After the show my friends and I stumbled down the street to a gay bar with [what felt like] the rest of the crowd. We drank and danced (well they danced, I just kinda swayed) well into the night. It was way past my bedtime and although I was going on nearly twenty hours without sleep, I felt energized and ready to take on the world. There are very few performers that have that effect on me but Betty Who made me forget any care that I had been carrying with me and left me with a night where the smile never left my face.
Venue: First Avenue
Sausage Fest Meter- Last night was a very open space for people who identify as anything and everything. I respect that and loved it and don’t feel a sausage fest meter would be appropriate for this show
Average Age of the Crowd- 23
Crowd Surfers- 0
Dance-Ability- 11 out of 10
Stage Divers- 0
Broken Bones- 0
Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 9.2 out of 10
Show on Deck- 7th Annual Mosh Out Suicide Festival (Alexandria, MN)
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