By Jessica Spottek
This past Sunday, I was lucky enough to catch the one and only Jade Bird at Wooly’s in Des Moines with some of our other KURE members. Our first time seeing her live was this past summer at Hinterland in St.Charles, IA. Since then, KURE has been blown away with her projects, including her newest self-titled album. This past weekend’s performance was no disappointment.
Wooly’s is a local venue in the East Village of Des Moines. I haven’t been down to DSM to really explore the city, but I enjoyed the area that the venue was in (East Village). Wooly’s is definitely not the biggest venue in DSM, but a perfect spot for some alternative gigs and happy vibes! The show was running late last minute, as the doors and start times changed the day of. However, it didn’t stop us from an awesome performance by the queen herself!
The opener was a band named Flyte (pronounced “flight”). All the way from London, the group had an acoustic set for their opener, and was good! Myself and the other KURE members haven’t heard of Flyte prior to the show, but their sound was definitely something that we’d play at the station. Personally, I’m not the biggest fan of acoustic sets, and I was pretty tired before the show. I’m not sure if that’s an excuse or if it was really that mediocre. (I’m actually listening to their music right now, and I prefer these versions than the acoustics). I believe that this was their first time touring in the US, and they loved the Des Moines area! And I quote, “This is probably our favorite city!…before the next one!”. Overall, the opener was very intimate with their personal lyrics about relationship struggles and current world problems in their hometown. One thing I loved about Flyte was their vocals. All three guys sang together, and I just loved listening to their voices. Make sure to check out Flyte!
With only being 22 (just turned on October 1st!), Jade Bird is rapidly becoming a star, and her music is no comparison to others. I wouldn’t call her music folk or country, but it’s also not alternative indie. Maybe like a mix between Brandi Carlisle and Kacey Musgraves with a hint of rock? You can determine her genre yourself; all you need to know is that it’s awesome! Also from over the pond, the English singer-songwriter debuted her 2017 album, “Something American”. Becoming a hit, her 2019 album, “Jade Bird” exploded across the UK and US. This album is truly one of my favorites currently because she speaks from the heart. Her lyrics are personal, and I can truly connect to her songs. Not only is she an amazing singer, but she can play guitar!
Jade Bird originally played at Hinterland this summer, and her show was a BIG hit for attendees! Her free-spirited personality aligned well with the weekend’s vibes, and made Hinterland that much better. I would argue that Jade Bird was one of the best performances at Hinterland this year, and she did not disappoint at Wooly’s! She opened her show with “Ruins”, which is one of my favorite songs of hers. She mentioned that there was going to be fast and slow segments throughout her set, and she transitioned well between these. I remember there was one point where she was singing “What Am I Here For” off of her first album, and the whole place was silent. All I could hear was her voice and her guitar. It was an amazing feeling, like listening to the song in your headphones with no distractions. I even got goosebumps! During her slower segment of her set, Bird brought out Flyte one more time to sing “17” with her, and it was fantastic!
As I mentioned above, Jade Bird shows her personality on stage and shows a genuine side to herself. There aren’t many artists like this anymore; I give mad respect to those who show authenticity towards their music and audience. Bird always says “thank you so much!” after every song, and I can tell that she truly means it. Did I say that she’s also THE CUTEST human being ever?! Like oh my gosh, she is so sweet and adorable! Her smile is the greatest! (Kyle has a huge crush on her!). There was a point in the show when Bird was talking about the meaning behind one of her songs, explaining “this is like a‘f**k you too’ song. Hope you enjoy”. Kyle exclaimed that “that was the cutest ‘f**k you’ I’ve ever heard in my life” (DJ Buttermilk Jesus, 2019). But for real, Jade Bird is amazing!
Honestly, the Iowa and Des Moines music scene isn’t the best (compared to Milwaukee or Chicago), but this show was seriously good! Once again, Jade Bird knocked it out of the park with her performance and her talent. The audience absolutely loved her, and applauded after every song. I hope to see Jade Bird again soon, and hopefully with more music to be released within the next year or two! She is so talented with her guitar-playing, piano, and outstanding vocals. Be sure to check out her self-titled album; it won’t disappoint! Some of my favorite songs include “Love Has All Been Done Before”, “Does Anybody Know”, and “I Get No Joy”. What a queen!