We were not, as we somewhat feared, the oldest ones in the room at this show. (There were much older and much sketchier people there, who yelled things that you should not yell at anyone but especially not a 24-year-old who openly professes via song her interest in… not the people that were yelling.) That was nice. We were also nowhere near the most openly queer (a young girl standing in front of us was wrapped in a rainbow flag, and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t the only one; much like Tegan and Sara last fall, it was a great place to spot plaids and glasses and patches on jackets). We were just there, having a nice time, enjoying the delicious Sapphic joy. And not putting our hands in the air because that’s not something either of us do.
(I did sing along a couple of times, I’ll admit, when others were [although that was most of the concert let’s be real]; “Palace,” because it’s beautiful, and “Girls Like Girls” because well, that’s why we were all there, wasn’t it? But I didn’t sing loudly, because that’s scary and also because I know better now. A benefit of being in my sage mid-20s, I suppose.)
The opening act was perfectly… fine. For what they were. Flor, they were called. They were a band comprised of boys, and because I did not know their lyrics I spent most of their performance playing a game where I discreetly typed out the lyrics it sounded like they were singing to me. This is not an insult to anything but a reflection of the fact that I’m seriously used to theatre diction where you Can Hear All Of The Words Clearly. (See also: the great Taylor Hicks debacle.)
“Oopsies hearts alone, is overgrown, I’m calling you home.”
“So nightly ghosts eat, so night night in yeah yeah… go nightly sure ghostly in my feet, in a nice whisper where you find me, hold on something is making me gun!”
“Set up the moons, my attention, new birds, new Maureen, vote freely, shout boy you’re early.”
They covered the Adele song “Send My Love” and at one point I thought I heard “If you read if you’re ready kids door.”
“Can’t take out my fire for from my heartbeat …….. this ain’t lovely Barnes shot me, how many times make myself over that’s who I long to rest to your shoulder, oh oh heartbeat testing on me.”
“Discussing your story, you can elope with your shoulder, over behind, oh bleeding, it’s the light …… on the other side treat me like paradise, far from a pretty cooler don’t care if you’re alright.”
“For the wide, stay with your under, connects, Aloysius, scratches, naturally seen the sun …… found a place tracer, going on stopping stones walls, it’s not hard, taint.”
And etcetera. This is a fun game and I think I will play it again.
Anyway. Hayley herself was absolutely lovely. There was something nice about knowing that she was almost definitely going to play all of my favs (since the girl has a total of twenty songs that can be found online, and I assumed she would favor her newer two EPs instead of the oldest one and the unreleased tracks) and that it would be an easily predictable length of concert. Nothing against when I go for the Decemberists or Eisley or M. Ward or something, but those guys have dozens of songs, so it’s more unpredictable. This was nice in that I knew exactly what we were getting ourselves into and it was exactly what it was.
It was a small venue, a club, a room in a bar; it was packed very tight (which some people in the audience could have stood to be more mindful of, but that’s always true of standing-room venues) and it was packed primarily with smol queer girlchildren exalting. I don’t think there was a single song it didn’t seem like at least part of everyone was singing along with, and that’s fun. Hayley certainly encouraged it and seemed adorably impressed with everyone’s level of enthusiasm and commitment.
Hayley Kiyoko is officially a delight as a person, too. She was telling cute stories about being smol and Sapphic and emotional and while I did not relate to everything directly it was refreshing and cute. Also, much like at Tegan and Sara, it was fun to watch presumably heterosexual men be uncomfortable about these little divergences. Also, she’s a giant nerd and dances, as I heard in advance via tumblr, exactly like she does in her videos: goofy and ridiculous.
Also! She did that thing that I love, where the singer jumps in on backup percussion. There was a machine she fiddled with in some songs and a drum pad kid she viciously attacked with green drumsticks during others and it was a joy to watch and god, I just love singers on backup percussion because they are always having fun. At the end she tossed her drumsticks into the crowd and I’m sure they made the smol queer girlchildren very happy.
And yes, re: the setlist: all of Citrine was played (started with “One Bad Night” since that was the name of the tour, started the encore with “Gravel to Tempo,” threw the others – and “Sleepover” in throughout) and most of This Side of Paradise (“Girls Like Girls” was the second part of the encore, and a truly triumphant moment) and I think just one or two off of A Belle to Remember (not the titular track, which is fine and well by me since I sort of got burned out on that particular track at my old retail job where it was in rotation). All of it gay and all of it delightful.
–your fangirl heroine.