New Zealand native Kimbra may not yet be a household name in America, but she’s making a very strong case for herself by putting on jet-fueled performances like the one last Saturday night at Webster Hall. It was a fitting finale for this year’s CMJ music conference.
From the moment Kimbra emerged from the shadows in a very purple, multi-layered skirt—appearing to the untrained eye to be the size of Columbus Circle—it seemed as if she had been drinking cases of Red Bull for weeks, storing up energy in preparation for this particular show. Her set was a blitz of pop energy from the word go.
With a voice on fire and her sidekick tambourine a-shaking in one hand, she had the crowd squarely in the palm of the other until the last note. She opened the set with “Limbo,” gave a shout out to Nina Simone with “Plain Gold Ring,” and performed crowd favorites “Cameo Lover” and “Settle Down.” Then she brought the curtain down with an encore of “Withdraw” and “Call Me.”
The opening band the Stepkids were a very well-put-together, psychedelic rock band from Bridgeport, Connecticut. They dressed in all-white jumpsuits and performed a groovy, pulsating set in front of a perpetually changing kaleidoscope backdrop (just in case you weren’t already hallucinating). They were a great choice to kick start the night for such an energetic headliner.