With no shortage of opportunities to party on Halloween night in the Twin Cities, Fine Line Music Cafe might have been relatively low on your list of prospects. However, a stunning but low-key performance by two up and comers in the industry provided a perfect backdrop to my, and many other’s looking for a more mellow evening, night.
With most people arriving shortly after the door’s opened, I was surprised by the mix of people dressing up and not. While many people we clearly in the Halloween spirit, including me, wearing blue jeans with rhinestones stripe on the side, an orange short sleeve with cute little flying bats and long brown boots, many people decided to come as typical concertgoers.
The show got started around 8:00 PM with Morocco-native ABIR. While still young in the music business, she has already been collecting accolade after accolade. Billboard listed her as one of their “Most Exciting New Voices” and Apple Music included her as one of their “Favorite New Artist.”
Dancing across the stage in her one-piece yellow snake suit with navy blue track pants, her voice was soulful, fresh, heavy, and a possessed a sound I would compare to Alessia Cara. She made sure to included performances from all of her biggest hits as well, such as “Young & Rude,” “Tango,” “Zara,” and her biggest hit to date, a performance along Cash Cash in “Finest Hour.” If her performance last night is any indication of the trajectory of her career, be on the lookout for more from this incredibly talented performer.
After a brief intermission, headliner Kiiara enters the room and forms a huddle with her bandmates to recite a prayer before their performance. As her bandmates start to take the stage, Kiiara enters, flaunting her style with blue sequin sweatpants, black bralette, and silver platform tennis shoes, immediately getting into her performance of the song “Feels.”
Born and raised in Wilmington, Illinois, Kiiara’s voice is soft, which compliments her pop/alt-R&B style very well. Her voice and performance style left me thinking back to my high school days, singing softly into a mirror, pretending I was in a music video, which is exactly what Kiiara was doing less than four years ago.
Highlights of the performance included incredible renditions of her songs “Whippin’,” as well as her collaboration with Linkin Park for their 2017 single “Heavy.” She then took a brief pause during the performance but returned to perform her smash-hit “Gold” which reached #15 on Billboard’s Hot 100, as well as being featured in a very popular Apple Watch ad in 2015.
Overall, it was an extremely riveting performance by both young singers, and I fully anticipate both of these women to be powerhouses in the industry sooner rather than later. It was also a wonderful way to spend Halloween, ending up to be just the laid back kind of night I was looking for.