This past Friday night, March 4, singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams gave a memorable performance at the El Rey Theatre as part of her This Is What It Feels Like North American Tour with newcomer Alix Page opening.
Abrams’ fans had filled the Iconic El Rey Theatre and, throughout the entire 90 minute set, they knew every word to each track performed.
The songs spanned Abrams’ earlier works, from her debut 2020 album Minor to her most recent EP This is What it Feels Like, which was released this past November.
The show was intimate yet cathartic for Abrams. For the indie-pop artist and L.A. native, tonight’s show was not just another venue in another city but also a triumphant homecoming, which brings with it an array of emotions. During the show, Abrams would be overcome with those emotions and she thanked the audience more than once for being present, singling out her friends and family in the crowd.
“This is Home,” Abrams said as she smiled back to the many smiling faces in the audience. Later, she humbly waved and mouthed, “I love you.”
Abrams gave a high-energy performance that dazzled as bright as the chandelier above the El Rey Theatre. Her set reached peaks and valleys that took audience members on a journey into the many vulnerable and beautifully woven lyrics she had written throughout her career. Songs such as “This Is What It Feels Like,” “Bottom,” and “For Real, This Time” were playful moments. In contrast, ballads such as “Rockland,” “Painkillers,” “Alright” and “Minor” left the audience engaged to the point that cellphones were put away, and everyone shared these tender moments. It was magical to see. There wasn’t a dry eye when she performed her track “Painkillers” off of her TIWIFL EP.
Abrams would interchangeably play the piano and guitar as she sang. Overall, it was an immersive experience, just like her most recent album that encapsulates her range as an artist and lyricist. It was easy to get lost in her angelic voice through the show, and the passion that she exuded was euphoric, to say the least. That same passion was present when she would take the time in between songs to interact with young fans who brought gifts for Abrams and held signs that stated, “My therapist said this was good for me!” and “I shaved my legs for you!”
She’s still only 22 years old, so it’s impressive to see how well the singer-songwriter connects with her audience. Her lyrics, touching on heartbreak and ultimately coping with pending and uncertain loss, can easily resonate with many. Overall, Abrams is an artist whose trajectory can only go up.
It was a night led by just a young woman from L.A., with her guitar, a keyboard, and a voice that left the audience of a sold-out event speechless and captivated till the end.