Hey readers! So this past month, DJ Shoes (Marcus Shriver) and I had the fabulous opportunity to see Paul Baribeau, Kimya Dawson, Your Heart Breaks, and Emily Clementine at the Vera Project. It was, in short, pretty rad. First off, what’s great about the Vera Project is that it’s always all ages so if you’re under 21 you don’t have to worry about missing your favorite band because you were born at the wrong time.
Anyways, Emily went on first. She had a really soft sound but there was definite power in her voice. She wrote three of the four songs she performed, I believe, and did a pretty fabulous job on them all. I really hope to see her confidence and stage presence grow as she performs more. She kicked off the evening’s theme which was: these artists need better self-esteem. I think that the most common sentiment among audience members was “YOU’RE DOING GREAT! FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOU!” or at least, that’s what I wanted to shout every time one of the artists would say something negative about themselves or their music.
Your Heart Breaks was up next, just one band member present (but that’s okay because Clyde Petersen is an incredibly talented human). I must say, I’ve had fun watching shows before but this one was so hilariously fun that it was even easier to consume the beautiful music being put out on stage. I had a great time and I think that’s the mark of a great artist and showperson; if you can get a room full of awkward teens and several parents to party with you while you put on an astronaut mask and sing songs, you’re doing it right. Oh so very right.
Then came the man of the hour(s): Paul Baribeau. Now, I don’t know about y’all but I have definitely spent some TIME (all caps because it was a lot of time) listening to this man’s music and really thinking about my life (there were tears, you know, it’s whatever). Seeing him perform live was such an awesome experience because he didn’t just sing for us. He told us his stories through songs and I truly felt that. Also, between each song he had some really rad stuff to share. Like for instance, even if life is going great, you should take a step back and think “wow, this sucks. this is stupid” and change some things around. That’s pretty valuable advice. He explained some things about why he wrote the songs the way he did and just kind of laughed with us for a little while. He didn’t want to get off the stage, I didn’t want him to get off the stage, and it was basically just a “how long can we stay here listening to his majestic voice” kind of situation. Marcus and I got to shake his hand after the show which really solidified the evening for me. Thanks, Paul, that was so great.
Kimya Dawson is probably one of the kindest and cutest humans I have ever seen perform. Not only did she do a lot of stuff blindfolded, but she just had the best way of talking with the audience and getting us all to smile with her. Her confidence wasn’t the highest when she was on stage but I tell ya, it should have been, because she did a great job. Her lyrics mean so much and she really knows how to reach into your soul and make you F E E L T H I N G S.
Overall, this was an incredible show to be a part of because it really was a collaborative event. The audience was there as a source of support and love. That’s the case at most shows but because this one was at such an intimate venue, there was a true connection between the artist and the audience. I definitely feel like I witnessed some magic that night.
-Jasmine Schwartz, Pizza Bagel Enthusiast/News Director