Alina Baraz w/ DJ Tim Gunter
The Crocodile, Seattle, WA
With less than an hour’s worth of music released, it came as a bit of a shock when Alina Baraz announced a tour and then proceeded to sell out her show at The Crocodile extremely quickly. Though when you really look at it, the soothing, dreamy songs she sings leave no question as to how that happened.
The night opened up with DJ Tim Gunter, who happily mixed top 40’s tracks for the crowd. Playing everything from Beyonce, to Ed Sheeran, to Drake, the crowd danced and partied their way into the show.
In the final few seconds of Gunter’s set, Alina’s supporting band actually came on and took their spots on the stage, ready to pick up the music right as Gunter stopped. So instead of having a half-hour or so with a lack of live music for the stage crew to set up for the headliner, the crowd actually got to watch and enjoy as the band messed around with some jazz improv. The music was fun to watch as it was easy-going and the group really got into it.
Finally up, Baraz walked on stage amongst screams that ranged from excited shrieks to “she’s so hot.” She opened her set with some of her most popular slow jams, and had everyone swaying and singing along instantly. A bit into the night, Baraz then announced a new track called “High.” The song fit perfectly against her older EP, with the soft, lovely vocals that create her dreamy tracks. The chorus of “High,” however, turned a little more energetic and intense, making it even more captivating.
Baraz’s set continued with the remaining tracks off her Urban Flora EP, leaving the crowd in a trance as she slowly danced her way around the stage. While her songs were just as beautiful as they are on the record, her voice seemed to lack something live that slightly weakened her performance. Her voice isn’t quite as strong live as it is recorded, so the balance between her and the band was a bit awkward.
Closing with her latest single “Electric,” actually suited Baraz’s live voice much better than her older tracks. “Electric” leans away from her old sound, and more towards the excitement of pop radio, but finds a sweet spot between the two where her voice and performance thrived.
Baraz’s show easily had the potential to be terribly boring. She’s only got a handful of tracks out, and they all follow the same smooth, lovely theme that doesn’t exactly make you jump up and down dancing and head-banging with your friends while you listen. But she performed in a way that was simply captivating, allowing her audience to close their eyes and enjoy the sound, or lovingly watch her slowly sway around the stage, passionately singing her ballads.
Review by Lulu Dawson
Photos by Vadim Blishchik