There’s got to be a joke in there somewhere
by Ali Glembocki
Sky Ferreira was sick, yo! But literally, the 20-year-old snow-haired crooner apologized between songs for her voice, which was at about “80%” since she’s recovering from an illness (the details of which she deemed “too disgusting to share with you guys”). Regardless, she seduced the jaded Brooklyn crowd at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on March 21 with her signature sultry stare and proved her vocals have the substance to match her style.
New York Magazine’s Nitsuh Abebe named her haunting 80s-flavored pop ballad “Everything is Embarrassing” the Song of the Year in 2012. Despite this major accolade, Ferreira remains generally unknown.
Even though Sky Ferreira hasn’t yet broken into the music mainstream, she’s recently become a darling of the fashion world. High fashion brand Yves Saint Laurent nabbed her for their 2013 ad campaign, photographed by newly intalled creative director Hedi Slimane. Also, celebrity fashion photographer Terry Richardson adopted Ferreira as his new muse, even directing the music video for “Red Lips,” a song Garbage’s Shirley Manson co-wrote.
And who’s that fabulous bleach blonde vixen smizing in all of the new Forever 21 ads? That’s indeed the very same Sky Ferreira. She is the new face of Forever 21’s spring line, a clothing superstore that is a favorite among Fordham females. She has become a crossover fashion star, taking over billboards and magazines, and on March 21st, she took on the Music Hall of Williamsburg.
The opening act was High Highs, a very, very grateful alternative rock band from Australia. They served the impatient crowd a large catalogue of pleasant rock, playing their low key hit “Open Season,” which was featured on the Pitch Perfect soundtrack.
When R&B electro collective How To Dress Well took the stage, the energy completely shifted: it was clear that they were what a large portion of the crowd shelled out $35 to see. Singer Tom Krell bared his soul with an impressive falsetto, accompanied by electro hip-hop beats, and sometimes a violin. All the while, short films played behind him, all of which were a haunting combination of beautiful and frightening. The highlight of his extremely long set was his cover of R. Kelly’s “I Wish,” which put the entire crowd under his spell. At one point, Krell dramatically walked away from his microphone and sang “Decisions” acapella.
His bold comfort and between-songs personality made it clear that Tom Krell is a seasoned performer. In fact, some spectators left the building when he did. “Sky WHO?” a hipster dressed in all-black-everything smirked as she exited the Music Hall when How To Dress Well’s set ended.
A large crowd still remained waiting anxiously for Sky Ferreira as the crew rearranged the stage to accommodate many more laser lights. There were many whispers of excitement; one hip couple on a date night was predicting whether she would emerge wearing Givenchy or Saint Laurent.
Even though Sky Ferreira looked like a moving fashion photograph, the star was clearly her voice; she emerged with a simple black outfit and blood red lips, ready to kick ass and take names. Ferreira began with “Lost in My Bedroom,” a hyper dance track off of her 2012 EP Ghost. She slowed things down with her acoustic jam “Sad Dream,” proving to all of the skeptics that she has a rich, alluring live voice.
Overall, the audience fell in love at first sight, screaming bold “I LOVE YOU’s” and pleading for signatures at any moment of silence. At one point, a bearded man in a bizarre hat placed a pair of boots onstage with a note in them, a gift that she smilingly accepted.
Ferreira ended the set with her bona fide hit “Everything is Embarrassing,” solidifying her status as the queen of the crowd’s hearts. The audience belted the words as she commanded the stage, moving like every moment would be photographed.
With the energy high, the audience screamed, “TWERK!” “EXPRESS YOURSELF!”
But Sky Ferreira is more Kate Moss than Madonna. She just sang and embodied every word.