Monday night, teeny bopper turned punk rock princess Kate Nash was in town at The Roxy to play a sold-out show. Her performance that night showed just how far she’s come in terms of transforming from an innocent looking girl in front of a piano into a guitar slaying rock n roll goddess.
Nash long ago ditched the natural red hair and on this night donned a bright pink ‘do, dressed in a pink prom dress type outfit I could totally picture my four-year old niece donning while playing dress-up.
That kind of mentality encompassed the entire performance as the UK’s Nash jumped around like a young child as though she was totally oblivious to what would be deemed socially acceptable. In fact, Nash preached to the crowd how you should say f*ck it and be yourself and not to care what others think. It was refreshing given the kind of things we are told as consumers what is cool and what isn’t cool.
Nash began the night with “Sister”, which is the most punk rock sounding thing she has probably ever recorded. Complete with a kick ass all-girl backing band, Nash jammed through a couple of songs off her most recent album before turning things back with “Mariela”, off her Made of Bricks album.
Though Nash played many of the songs off Made of Bricks that made her a teenage rising star, she has adjusted those tunes to the guitar and only sat in front of a keyboard once all night, when she played “Merry Happy” in her encore.
Nash got the crowd in a laughter with her song “Free My Pussy”. Though she discussed vagina sculptures in the talk that preceded the song, it’s really a song about the Pussy Riot gals. The somewhat politically fueled song proved that Nash has grown as a songwriter, no longer only turning out tunes about heartbreak and silly things.
Nash played the theme song to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” as an homage to Sarah Michelle Gellar, whose birthday it was. It was nice to see an artist on stage who really acts like she isn’t a celebrity, who is capable of idolizing the same trivial things that us regular folks do.
As Nash played a reimagining of Fidlar’s “Cocaine” that she calls “Girl Gang”, the tiny stage at The Roxy was flooded by gals who jumped on stage. Nash and her band continued rocking out as security tried keeping more people from joining them. One girl even sort of got shoved off the stage by security, though she seemed alright.
Nash then handed off her guitar to someone in her crew and then began helping girls crowd surf. What made this an interesting sight is that the crowd was made up of about 85 percent feeble little women, so it was funny to see them try and float people across the crowd.
It was awesome to see Nash engage her audience like this. The only downside is that so many of these people were entrenched in recording the event on their phones that they couldn’t just enjoy the moment. This was a once in a lifetime type thing and they were busy documenting it back to their friends via Instagram and Snapchat.
Though this seemed like a good way to end a show, Nash did come out and play a two-song encore. It seemed as though “Merry Happy” was supposed to lead into another keyboard-fueled song, but Nash had other ideas. She informed each of her band mates of the change and they launched into an enjoyable cover of ’90s one-hit wonder “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks.
It will be interesting to see how Nash continues to grow as an artist and a performer. She hasn’t yet leveled off and if Monday night was any indication, that time won’t be coming for quite awhile.
Words: Mark E. Ortega