I already wrote about my crush on Soko.
Last Tuesday, I went to a show in my hometown Rotterdam. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect. The show she gave a few days earlier in Brussels got both enthusiastic and negative reviews and last week she cancelled a few shows in France because of illness and depressions so it could be good or bad.
Soko came on stage and told us we would start with a surprise act. Her brother Maxime sang two songs, while Soko herself was singing backing vocals and playing drums.
After that Luke Rathborne came on stage. He is a singer-songwriter from New York and also member of Soko’s band, and he wasn’t bad but not very impressive and struggled with the problem of this venue: people chatting to each other instead of listening.
And then Soko came on stage… What followed was a two hour long show, and a rollercoaster of emotions. Soko and her band members (Luke, Gillian McGuire on bass guitar, violin and backing vocals), ran around the stage, changed instruments and gave the impression they were all making it up on the spot.
We saw Soko singing very sad songs (“can I do another very a sad song or do you already want to kill yourself?”), was chitchatting with public (“I love you Danish people! Oh, not Danish, no. Dutch. But I’m dyslectic. Do you mind calling you Hollandish?”).
She played mostly new songs and almost her entire album. No songs from her earlier period when she had a minor hit with “I kill her”.
Surprisingly the songs with other her band members were the best with “People Always Look Better in the Sun” as one of the highlights of the evening.
There also was a therapeutic number “Destruction Of The Disgusting Ugly Hate” sang by Soko from behind the drum kit, which sounded like an early French punk song.
The last half hour of the show was for singalong with the audience, inviting people on stage (“You are so hot, may I touch your boobs”?) and asking about the legal status of touching boobs of a 19 year old girl “Is that underage here?”).
After the last song she said that she was available for free hugs “like now”, stepped off the stage and walked through the public to the back of the venue, where the merch was.
It still is hard to describe. But after seeing her live, I can’t think about the fact that it is just real. Soko is a young woman who likes to be on the podium, sharing her emotions with her audience and loves to perform. And maybe it is not that “good’ but at least it was enjoyable fun and entertaining. And maybe that is what music is about…
Here’s a rare clip of Soko singing in French.