This was the first time I witnessed Kina Grannis performing live. I mainly decided to attend this extraordinary gig based on what I had heard and the fact this date and both Water Rats shows at the beginning of the month had sold out. The fact that this date proved to be a sell out and the fact I didn’t have a ticket resulted me turning up at 3pm (they keep 20 tickets on the door for each show). Grannis’s 4th album was released this year (5th April – US: 24th Oct UK) and to be honest I should of really listened to it beforehand. But I knew people who liked Kina’s music and I trust their judgement. Now Grannis was the winner of the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest. As a result of winning, she earned a recording contract with Interscope Records and had her music video played during the commercials of Super Bowl XLII.
7.30pm came and people started to go into the venue. I paid for my ticket and made my way to the front of the stage. In front of me was something I had never witnessed before and this being a stage consisting of two microphones. It then became apparent that the performance was going to be stripped down. I was told it would just be Kina on the stage with just her acoustic guitar. Grannis took to the stage at 9.05pm to plenty of cheers. Opening up the set was World In Front Of Me which is also the name of the tour. This song was delivered to perfection and it was ever so beautiful. It was ever so enchanting to watch Kina play just by herself. The powerful chorus was also a highlight for me. “Thankyou so much, You’re so lovely” Grannis said after the crowd erupted with applause. Strong Enough followed on and it was an up-tempo, more powerful plea to stay emotionally true with both yourself and others. This song also showed off Kina’s her vocal strength. “It’s so good to be back here, was anyone at one of the Water Rats shows” Kina said before tuning up her guitar. She then went onto say that she can’t multi task (tune and talk to the audience at the same time).
Cambridge was next on the night and it was delivered at a steady tempo. Grannis’s vocals throughout this song were extraordinary. “Would it be possible to get some house lights for a moment so I can stare at people” Kina said before glancing at the sold out audience. She then filmed the audience for a moment using a iPhone. Kina then launched herself into the upbeat The One You Say Goodnight To. This song was a real crowd pleaser and everyone clapped in unison throughout. “You guys are so awesome by the way” Grannis said before getting stuck into Stars Falling Down. This was a beautiful steady paced song with an added dash of emotion. What came next was something rather extraordinary. This being Kina’s very own take on the Britney Spears song Oops I Did It Again. This song had a Folk/ Acoustic twist on it which made it sound incredible. It definately went down well with the crown. Also Grannis’s vocals were strong and superb. Kina then invited Imaginary Friend (who supported) to join her onstage for a song. This song being In My Sight which he hadn’t played all tour. They ggot through this song without a hitch and it was delivered beautifully. “This is one of the newest ones on Stairwells” and this being Without Me. The lyrics to this song were fantastic and it showed off her outstanding vocal range. “I’m going to play a song about a dream I had once” Grannis said before launching into Together. Before getting stuck into the song Kina removed her boots to reveal a matching pair of green socks. This song was delivered beautifully. Make Me was next and this being the track you could only get if you pre ordered Stairwells the first time round. Make Me was a powerful song and the fact the audience were silent throughout this song was something truly magical. After some thankyous it was then onto the crowd pleasing Valentine. Kina is one incredible lyricist. It was then straight into In Your Arms which was one beautiful song which was superbly delivered. The Goldfish Song was the penultimate song on the night and I found it to be both getle and mellowing. Before the last song Grannis went on to reveal she was coming back to London on 9th February at the Union Chapel. Message From Your Heart involved plenty of crowd participation and also Grannis unplugged her guitar for this song. It was simply spine tingling.
World In Front Of Me
The One You Say Goodnight To
Stars Falling Down
Oops I Did It Again
In My Sight
In Your Arms
The Goldfish Song
Message From Your Heart
OVERALL: This night was fantastic. I would go as far to say that this gig was one of my favourites of 2011. Kina has something extremely special. Just witnessing her live has made me want to see her play live again. Once the 14 songs were over you then had everyone leaving the room so they could go upstair to the balcony. Why I hear you ask. After the last song Kina announced she would be doing a meet and greet upstairs. It took around 10 minutes for me to get up the stairs and meet Grannis. She is really lovely and I look forward to the Union Chapel show in February.
I mustn’t forget the support act Imaginary Friend was amazing. His unique twist on Fly Me To The Moon was fantastic. He is definately one that I would like to hear more of.