Since the best way to see any show is to be front row, I made sure to get in line early to secure my place at Warsaw. I joined a couple of others in line, who braced the cold to get up close to Ryn Weaver. Warsaw, also known as the Polish National Home, is located in Brooklyn and has a unique, spacious venue that comfortably fits close to 1,000 people. I attempted to see Weaver in July but my friend canceled two hours before the show and I was not prepared to head to Brooklyn alone. With my friend at my side, I was now ready to see one of my favorite artists live.
The first opening act of Weaver’s tour, ASTR, came on about 30 minutes after doors opened. The New York-based duo, Zoe and Adam, hyped up the audience with their catchy beats and powerful vocals. Zoe engaged with the audience and made sure everyone was having a good time while she played her set, which took about 30 minutes and was comprised of six songs. Most of them were off their newest EP, “Homecoming.” After listening to their set, I look forward to seeing them again.
The second act, HOLYCHILD, came on about 15 minutes later. Singer Liz Nistico and instrumentalist Louie Diller comprise the group. Their music, which they call brat pop, is a division of pop music that mocks the fakeness of Hollywood with memorable pop tunes. Diller provided the perfect backup for Nistico as he killed the drums and would occasionally wink at the audience.
Their set was fast-paced, absorbing the interest of the crowd. After the show, Nistico and Diller hung around backstage with some of their fans. They were engaged, remembered their fans’ names and made sure they met everyone there. The set was amazing and I hope to see HOLYCHILD again.
The headliner of the show, Ryn Weaver, came on about three hours after doors opened. The audience burst out in cheers as the first notes to her opening song, “Runaway,” came on. Weaver strutted out in a white and red–striped shirt, mocking herself by saying she looked like Waldo later on in the show. After belting through “Runaway,” Weaver teased “Octahate,” her most popular song, with a 30–second a capella version before moving on to “Pierre.” After that, one of the instrumentalists was having difficulty with his sound system, so Weaver took some time to engage with the audience. The artist exclaimed that she was excited to be back in Brooklyn, where she lived for several years. She also explained that she named the tour the “Misfit Toys Tour” after watching “The Island of Misfit Toys” as a child. Weaver has now embraced the weirdness she was once mocked for, which is indicated by her unapologetic spirit and her song lyrics..
One of the highlights and the album title, “The Fool,” had everyone singing as Weaver demonstrated her vocal ability by hitting some of the highest notes I had ever heard. She then slowed down with “Free” and “Traveling Song,” a memoir to her grandfather. He has always supported her and his recent passing was very hard on Weaver. The end of “Traveling Song” has a 30–second speak–sing a capella, which the audience sang softly with her. Once it was over, she thanked the crowd for singing those important lines with her.
Weaver began the conclusion of the concert with “Promises” and “Here is Home.” She thanked everyone for coming and reminisced about the fantastic year that her album has brought her. She described how “The Fool” is about anyone that falls for somebody they shouldn’t love and struggled with conflicting emotions. The highlight of the night was her performance of “Octahate,” her most popular and dynamic song. Weaver stormed around the stage and energized the audience, who were screaming along with her. The climax for the song shook the entire venue as the crowd jumped along with Weaver, leaving my ears ringing for a solid hour after the show.
She closed the show with “New Constellations.” The track summarizes the primary message of the album, which is to try to find your place in the world and to always look for more. As the song concluded, Weaver thanked everyone, took a bow and then ran off the stage, leaving the crowd in a trance after an amazing show.
After the show, I was lucky enough to meet some of the performers. Weaver came out to the group of about 20 teenagers waiting. She apologized for being so sweaty and eagerly grabbed the tequila a fan gave her. I am an avid concert goer and after meeting many artists, I was used to their apathetic nature. They would give you a slight smile, you would take a picture and then be on your way. However, that was not the case with Weaver. She took her time with each fan, engaging with them by asking them questions about their lives, their favorite song and thanking them for coming to the show. She signed my phone and we took the most adorable polaroid imaginable. As I bid her farewell, my heart was fluttering in disbelief. I was amazed that Ryn was as nice as I would have hoped she would be in person.
Weaver’s show was one of the best I have ever been to. She was engaging, present and occupied every inch of the stage. She is definitely not an artist to miss, and I encourage any fan to see her live.