It’s easy to assume many things about Sigrid, on first impressions alone. Her debut album Don’t Kill My Vibe is about exactly that. After experiencing difficulties in her early career working with executives who undermined her capabilities as a young woman trying to break into the music industry, this album is a testament to her refusal to give up who she really is.
But who is she? Walking into Usher Hall, I braced myself for a crowd which would reflect Sigrid’s position as the next generation’s Selena Gomez or Taylor Swift. Instead, confronted by a body which was equally diverse in age and gender, my branding of her as a Disneyesque pop princess was swiftly removed.
Centre front of the stalls, was a middle-aged goth standing next to a group of girls with bright bucket hats trying to evoke the summer aesthetics of Glastonbury on a rainy autumn’s night in Edinburgh; while to my left was a group of men in their mid-twenties having a chat about rugby. Were we all here to see the same person? It was like the sisterhood of the travelling pants personified as a musician who caters to all.
In the midst of this confusion, the lights dimmed and a hall capacitating 2,200 people carried a moment of silence in mental preparation for the excitement yet to come. A low bass began to boom, and out came our mystical figure. Moving away from her traditional branding of simple jeans and a white t-shirt she wore sparkling flares which reflected the lights dancing around the stage. I like to think of it as a subconscious homage to the Land of the ‘Yahs’ which she had entered.
Starting with ‘Mine Right Now’, the crowd was transported to her iconic music video in which upon being unable to make it to the day of filming, her clumsy awkward director was forced to stand in her place. Her voice clearly pierced through the room, but equally the audience belting out every word of the song created a harmony and mutual dialogue which was reflected by the synchronised bopping, mirroring her carefree bounces on stage.
As the show ensued, the energy of the audience continued like that of an athlete on steroids. Ever present was our beloved aforementioned goth rhythmically head-banging to the songs ‘Basic’, ‘High Five’, and ‘Sucker Punch’ as if he had been airlifted from a Metallica concert and dropped right into the middle of Sigrid’s happy nothingness.
The term ‘happy nothingness’ is probably key to understanding how she’s managed to attract such a wide fan base. Her songs aren’t mindless: they have soul and feeling, but are juxtaposed with uplifting melodies for which even the most indifferent of people can’t help but feel good listening to. The goth centre front of the pit didn’t feel bad for feeling good whilst listening to her music, and neither did the rugby lads. All judgement was left on the streets of Lothian Road.
She’s aggressively unapologetic in her will to promote a simple outlook on life, which even she admits as being a battle she also faces. Mid-show revealed her “cosy” part of the performance for which her band retreated, and the audience was left with nothing but herself and a piano. As she began singing ‘Dynamite’; a song which shows the necessity to equally accept the bad as well as the good in life; the teen to my right righteously declared, “F*ck me, I’m actually gonna cry!” What followed was a watershed moment of the most heartfelt tears a drunken soul could possibly muster. Next came ‘Home To You’ and yet another victim to intense emotion as the teen turned to his friend and asked, “are you gonna cry with me?” for which the friend’s mascara was already smudged.
Of course Sigrid was not going to be one to end the show on a low. Within seconds, the dazzling lights and colourful graphics retuned with the band’ and in an ironic turn of events she began singing ‘Don’t Feel Like Crying.’ Then came ‘Strangers’, and in the moment of her singing “just like in the movies”, the atmosphere of the crowd echoed the exact feeling of surrealism being expressed in those lyrics. It was an unforgettable moment of pure joy shared by individuals who in no other context would be put together.
In ironically trying to say that a Sigrid concert is the closest thing to world peace I’ve thus far experienced, I fear it may be true.
Image: via Flickr