Sunday evening I got the chance to (semi) tick off another of those “must see live now I live in America” artists. Tess Henley’s stripped back performance was just what I needed to end a pretty hectic week. It was a bit of a surprise to discover this was her first time performing in San Francisco (as an aside, a number of bands I’ve seen recently have mentioned 2015 being their first time playing in SF which suggests something may be brewing in the local music scene – I digress…).
A great thing about listening to an artists you love, especially when they are playing a warm-up set, is the anticipation around which songs they choose to play; will she sing my favourite, will she include any new tracks? Luckily, the short set was a mix of recent and future music, with a few from her previous LP, High Heels and Sneakers thrown in for good measure.
Newer songs, Wonderland and Positively Me were a treat live. Tess has a comforting voice, one which draws you to lean in and listen intently. Like wrapping up under a quilt with a cup of cocoa on the sofa. It was pleasure to hear live and complimented the stripped back performances to a tea, or as well as putting milk in said cup of cocoa would!
New songs, such as Black Out, suggest Tess is keeping on with the more mature sound of the her latest EP and provided a nice glimpse in to the future direction of her music.
I like how Tess always had something to say between songs, engaging in a bit of banter is something not many do this side of the pond. A little bit of info on the song she’s about to sing was welcome.
As mentioned, the set was short, so I’m looking forward to her coming back to San Francisco for a 2nd time with a fuller set list in the near future (fingers crossed). This is why seeing her play the Great American Music Hall only ‘semi’ ticked off seeing her play from the lists. I’m taking Sunday night’s show as an appetizer to an entree soon.
Ps. Tess’ gig (and a few others earlier in then week) made me realise when watching artists I’ve wanted to see for years, I generally don’t take pics as I find myself getting lost in the music.