For the dedicated Generation Z fans of indie rock artist Beatrice Laus, better known as beabadoobee, her ’90s-inspired music provides a cinematic soundtrack for all the angst, nostalgia and joy of teenage and young adult life, a quality that has propelled the London-based singer-songwriter to stardom since her first releases in 2018. As beabadoobee took the stage Nov. 23 at The Fillmore, audience and performer’s energy collided for a truly special night of music and community.
The night began when beabadoobee’s labelmates BLACKSTARKIDS took the stage with an energetic performance, ending their set with the song “Time Flies When You’re Having Fun.” Before exiting the stage, the Kansas City hip-hop, indie rock and pop trio read a fortune from a cookie bestowed to them by a fan: “Visualize the win.” The lively performance set the bar high for an interactive night between audience and performer.
Next came an intimate set from vine star turned bedroom pop artist turned indie rocker Christian Leave, who gave a rapturous vocal performance paired with guitar-heavy instrumentals. Cell phone flashlights illuminated the historic venue during an emotional performance of “Maybe” off Leave’s latest EP Days Like Lost Dogs. His set concluded with an atmospheric performance of “Beside You” that devolved into a delightful chaos.
This Gen Z crowd was especially spirited and cheered for crews between sets, applauding even the soundcheck of every instrument. As the lights came down and beabadoobee’s band appeared, nearly every person in sight eagerly held up a phone to record as Laus entered the stage and opened with “Sun More Often.” “Go out and see the sun more often,” screamed the audience along with Laus, a strong first showing for a dedicated crowd that quickly revealed itself to know practically every word of every song.
As Laus and her band next played “Care,” the audience rushed toward the stage to jump and mosh, with such excitement that the ground vibrated. Laus’s vocal versatility made for a dynamic performance, as her distinctly sweet and clear voice lended an intimate quality to softer songs such as “Tired” but also proved powerful on faster tracks such as “Yoshimi, Forest, Magdalene,” “Together” and “Charlie Brown.”
At several points throughout the show, usually while switching between guitars, Laus checked in with the audience and asked for people to give each other enough space, making a clear effort to make sure the show was both fun as well as safe. “Thank you for taking care of everyone!” yelled an appreciative fan. Although chatting between sets was kept to a minimum, mostly reserved for introducing songs and band members, Laus joked with a fan who mentioned her viral miso soup-related TikTok audio and returned quite a few rogue declarations of love.
Laus later ditched her guitar for “He Gets Me So High” and “Last Day on Earth” from her most recent EP Our Extended Play, instead interacting with the audience more directly and receiving an assortment of gifted stuffed animals. “Last Day on Earth” also marked the end of her set, though no one was ready for the night to be over just yet.
After the crowd pleaded for one more song, Laus returned to the stage for a stripped down performance of her first release, “Coffee.” Although Laus released the track all the way back in 2017, marking the beginning of her meteoric rise in music, the song’s intimacy still created a special moment, the crowd swaying to the lyrics: “And I’ll make a cup of coffee with the right amount of sugar/ How you like it.” It’s a rare delight when artists and audiences can meet one another in the middle and match energy, and Laus’ sincerity and stage presence made for a uniquely meaningful performance.
Contact Sarena Kuhn at [email protected].