I Saw [Waxahatchee] Live

It’s always a pleasure being reminded of rock’s ability to captivate. The indie rock project Waxahatchee, formed and helmed by singer/songwriter Katie Crutchfield, gave such a demonstration last Friday at Zanzabar. Crutchfield and crew made the stop in support of their latest record “Out in the Storm,” which released this past July. The record sells emotion-laden anthems by the pound, with Crutchfield’s enthralling southern croon and sharp, poignant songwriting front-and-center. Every element translated beautifully to the stage.

Canadian post rock group Ought provided opening support with an enjoyable and concise set. Front man Tim Darcy was the centerpiece with his spindly dance moves and unique vocal style, resembling a nasally Jonathan Richman. But Crutchfield herself was the star of the night.

Waxahatchee delivered a filling set of around fifteen to twenty tunes. The band was tight and true to the sound of their studio recordings, if a bit muffled by the venue. Occasionally, Crutchfield’s vocals were dampened by the volume of the band, but never to a frustrating degree. She always broke through, either on her own, or with the backing vocal harmonies of her sister, Allison, on keyboard. Standout tracks from the new record like “Silver,” and “Recite Remorse” sounded as lovely and polished live as they do recorded.

The true highlight of the show came with the encore: a solo acoustic performance of “A Little More” by Crutchfield alone. Her unfettered voice over a silent, enraptured audience was something to behold, and a perfect cap to the evening. Waxahatchee and Crutchfield are proof that rock still has the power to move, often in the simplest and purest of ways.

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