By Adam McGrath
Independent pop artist VÉRITÉ helped Philly music fans start the week on the right note with an engaging, in-depth performance at Boot & Saddle Monday night. On night two of her 12-stop “Underdressed” tour, the New York-based singer played literally every song she has released on three EPs over the past two years, proving in the process that she is one of the can’t-miss artists of the year.
Dressed in a black jumpsuit with revealing cut-outs front and back, VÉRITÉ commanded the sizable crowd’s attention as she worked through popular songs like “Constant Crush,” “Heartbeat” and “Wasteland.” The crowd interaction was on point, and she even posed mid-song for the cameras of the birthday girls from Lancaster who were having a bit too much fun.
The music was the real hook, though, as it should be. A dance-able mix of analog and electronic sounds, VÉRITÉ’s songs are a pleasing brand of pop that doesn’t get too glittery. Blessed with a golden voice that ranges from sultry lows to falsetto highs, VÉRITÉ made use of dual microphones to add an extra layer of depth to her vocals. Lyrically, she tackles everyday situations with everyday words, but they become poetry as she extends and stretches simple syllables to pull the listener in. Her backing band was really tight, mixing drum machines with a live kit and bass guitar to produce a modern, in/organic sound. The boys’ bespectacled look called to mind a 2016 NYC version of The Proclaimers.
The only part of the evening that didn’t work was the set decoration, with four fluorescent tubes standing upright and starkly lighting the stage in a way that eventually became distracting. Maybe put some strobes on those things.
However, following her excellent cover of Childish Gambino’s “Sober,” VÉRITÉ brought the 65-minute set to a strong close with “Strange Enough,” “Living” and “Weekend.” The polished performance was a testament to the singer’s natural talent, though it certainly helps when you attract the attention of star-making producers without even being on a label. It will be interesting to see where she takes this act in 2016 and beyond.
Opening for VÉRITÉ on this tour is the LA-based singer Lostboycrow, who also brought a nice mix of analog sounds with digital enhancements, though his songs went more in an R&B direction. He definitely has the voice, and his hair might even be better than the songstress that took the stage after him. His biggest asset, though, is the sincerity with which he performs. That’s something that cuts through any amount of styling. A highlight of the set came during a medley of his song “Powers” into Kanye’s “Heartless”. Overall, a smart choice to complement VÉRITÉ’s sound.
Remaining Underdressed Tour Dates
5/18 New York, NYC @ Baby’s All Right
5/19 Boston, MA @ Great Scott
5/20 Montreal, QC @ Le Divan Orange
5/21 Toronto, ON @ Drake Hotel
5/23 Chicago, IL @ Schubas Tavern
5/25 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry
5/28 Seattle, WA @ Barboza
5/29 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
5/31 San Francisco, CA @ Rickshaw Stop
6/2 Los Angeles, CA @ Echo
My Heart is a Weapon
Talk Back to Me
Where It All Goes
Love Won’t Sleep
Say You Want Me