After a quick live equipment check, Brooklyn songstress VÉRITÉ (real name Kelsey Byrne) hit the Fillmore stage before an impressively energized post-Folsom Street Fair crowd. The second opener for fellow East Coast electropop act, Marion Hill, Byrne and her two live instrumentalists put forth a musically sound hour of material, spanning most of VÉRITÉ’s existing discography.
The darker tracks from her most recent Living EP (2016), which alternate lyrically between being uninspiring and savage af, contrasted those from her more conventional, doe-eyed 2014 breakthrough EP Echo. Through “Gesture,” sparse percussion and synth underlaid aloof lines such as “I’m not one to make love / But I’m down to give a fuck,” while “Strange Enough” saw sparkly harmonies above the ballad’s repeated closing line, “I don’t love you like you want me to.” The crowd, filling quickly as the headliner’s set time approached, alternated between looking on attentively if skeptically, getting down to bassy echoes, and being overwhelmed by synth washes and high tones.
Byrne is an outstanding vocalist, with a stellar range and ability to employ rubato and improvise melody lines at will. She was shaky towards the end on “Living,” straying a little too far from the studio version into moments of dissonance, but then closed the set strong with a solid rendition of her best-known song to-date; needless to say, by the time she quietly bid us “have a good night, thank you,” we had fallen in love for the “Weekend.”
Article and photos by Joanna Jiang