UK Americana sweetheart Jade Bird brought her first headlining North American tour to the Fine Line Music Cafe in Minneapolis last night with support from Field Report. The two acts of the night created a delightfully earnest and witty night of music together.First was folk act Field Report from Milwaukee. It’s the project of Christopher Porterfield, who has worked with a lot of incredible talent over the years including a band with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver back in his BluGold college days. He came out onstage with just an acoustic guitar to warm up the crowd and captured them with his whimsical personality and soulfully weathered voice.
While Christopher usually has 3 other musicians with him to bring his songs to life, it was fun to hear his thoughtful songs tell their stories in a more stripped down set. He seemed completely at ease onstage as he worked through new material that he’s written on this tour. He kept the audience on their toes as he used tight crescendos to add a powerful dynamic to keep his set sounding full and surprising.
He’ll be back on October 27th at Lake Monster Brewing Co. at their Halloween Music Fest if you want to catch him with his full band!
Next up was headlining singer-songwriter Jade Bird. You may have heard a few of her songs in heavy rotation on the Current lately. Most notably “Lottery” and “Uh Huh”. She doesn’t have a lot of music released at this point, so it’s impressive that she has such a following all over! I overheard quite a few people before her set mention that they had only heard these few songs, but everyone seemed excited to see what the night had in store.
It says a lot when a few singles can inspire a nearly sold-out crowd ahead of an album release, and she’s got the skills to back up the expectation of a great show that comes with that. She’s rubbed elbows with some of the best in the folk and Americana universe over her short career. The 21-year-old even shared the stage with Brandi Carlile earlier this year and has opened for First Aid Kit on their tour as well.
She started the evening solo onstage with her guitar with her song What Am I Here For. She was serious and focused as she strummed and introduced everyone to her robust voice in person. It’s a voice that you might not expect to hear when you see her for the first time. As the song ended she brought her 3 piece band to bring the gorgeous song Cathedral to life. Her lyrics catch the listener and the audience was invested and reinvigorated with the addition of the band.
The energy of the evening kept building with “Good At It” and “Good Woman”, which brought strong reactions from the crowd who were cheering so loudly that she had to stop to take it all in. Then she shifted gears back to a solo acoustic cluster of songs, including the passionate “Furious” that brought a delicate ferocity to the forefront.
She was absolutely glowing as she worked through new and old songs for us. The songs are easy to follow and they guide the listener through stories; sometimes of hopeful love, and sometimes of heartbreak. These songs always have a little something extra – cheeky lyrics or unexpected sweetness that set her apart from her contemporary artists. Regardless of the subject, she was smiling ear-to-ear after each song and talked to the audience about what song was next and what her inspiration was.
Her set was joyous. She even got everyone dancing with a fun cover of The Bangles’ “Walk Like An Egyptian”. The most popular songs like “Lottery” and “Uh Huh” were played mid-set, leaving that feeling of “what on earth could she close the night with if she’s already done these?!”
Not to worry. She rounded out the night with a dynamic encore. She began with her gently heartbreaking song “Something American” that quietly reigned everyone in after the break. Then she burst into a blistering cover of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere”. She was all smiles as she held her guitar up to her side just like Johnny always did. It was such a fun way to end the night.
This show was larger than some on the tour and she seemed truly grateful and excited to be here to share the evening with us. She didn’t take any applause or positivity for granted. I highly recommend you give her EP Something American and watch for her debut album. Jade Bird’s incredible talent is not to be missed!
What Am I Here For
Good At It
Furious (solo acoustic)
If I Die (solo piano)
Hold That Thought
Walk Like An Egyptian (The Bangles cover)
Love Has All Been Done Before
I’ve Been Everywhere (Johnny Cash cover)