After stumbling upon an art pop-up playing FKA Twigs’ videos in New York city this past August, I quickly declared my passionate love for the British talent. I don’t really know how to accurately underscore FKA Twigs’ value. She’s smart, her voice is the human version of church chimes, and she dances like a water bender. Also, her hair is like something you would see out of a Star Wars movie — in a good way.
Story and Photo by Sarah Montgomery
When I saw that she would be in Austin, I knew this could be a special opportunity to catch her close-up before she becomes an even more explosive force in the music world. One problem: The show was Nov. 26, the night before Thanksgiving. Who would go with me?
There are a lot of things I like doing alone. I shower alone. Read alone. Watch “New Girl” and eat pie alone. I even photograph concerts alone. But something about attending this concert alone made me nervous.
A crowd of dozens of strangers and me.
It felt isolating, and, frankly, I wasn’t sure I could handle it (let alone have fun). But, no one could make it. They were out of town, or had plans, or didn’t care to attend the show — fools.
After listening to “Pendulum” again (my favorite song on her latest album “LP1”) and reading this article suggested to me by a friend, I realized I had to. I couldn’t let social stigma get in the way of me experiencing mind-blowing art right?
The night was cold, but Twigs brought out the most diverse crowd I’ve ever seen. The guy in front of me talked about the heavy metal concert he had seen the night before, and the guys behind me only spoke Spanish. The line to Emo’s snaked all the way around the building, serving as an affirmation that I needed to be at this show.
Once I got through the doors I quickly slithered my way as close as possible to the stage. That easy. No discussion. No contemplating or figuring out if everyone was comfortable. I had only myself to worry about.
My nerves eased. Maybe this would be better than I thought.
I looked around and assessed my neighbors. There were girls barely dressed to my right, and a couple of dudes sporting suits covered in sequins to my left. I stood somewhere in between, in my Stan Smiths and all-black-everything feeling over- and under-dressed at the same time. (Little did I know that in two hours we would all be taking selfies together and crying along to “Lights On.”)
I realized in that moment that Twigs touched everyone. Who were the true fans — the ones wearing cat ears or in Jordan’s? What was it about her sound that brought all these walks of life together?
I finally managed to get a hold of a coke mixed with some alcohol (rum?). It was strong enough to ease the other nerves being a lone soul in a crowd brought. After an hour of texting “Pride & Prejudice” quotes back and forth with a friend pretending to look busy, the show started.
I am being completely honest when I say it was one of the best concerts of my life. I weaved my way in and out of other’s conversations. Moved when I wanted. Peed when I wanted. Danced when I wanted. Belted lyrics when I wanted. I was separate from the crowd, and yet a part of it when I wanted to be.
An opener I had never heard of got the crowd going, but everyone, including me, lost their damn mind when Twigs stepped on stage.
It feels like rarely artists are as perfect as we imagine them, but Twigs is truly everything and more. Her voice was better live and her performance made my heart dance its way right out of my chest. She wore a cardigan and matching midi-skirt that rippled like waves when she danced.
In short — took. my. breath. away.
I could have stayed at home. I could have moped around watching YouTube videos and drinking Moscato (again), but instead I saw an amazing show. When the night was over I left without waiting on anyone or having anyone wait on me and took a smooth ride home for Thanksgiving.
Sometimes, you’re alone. Sometimes, cool things come up when you’re alone.
Think it’s embarrassing or sad?
Not anymore sad than binge watching Netflix alone in bed (we all do it). It’s important to take advantage of these intimate moments and enjoy life and yourself.
It could be the best concert of your life.