By: Francesca Tirpak

Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee played a solo set at the Irenic last Thursday on the tour’s first West Coast show.

Walking into the venue during the first half of the Pacific Northwest’s Briana Marela’s opening act was something I haven’t experienced yet in the concert world. Something like fifty concert-goers were sitting in various small grounds on the ground lightly sloping toward the stage. The lighting turned everyone’s enraptured face pink and purple. Briana, up on stage behind a table with a synthesizer, keyboard, and Mac computer, crooning into the microphone, had everyone’s undivided attention. Her hauntingly smooth voice exuding solemnly sad songs about lost love and lost purpose contrasts with her sweet, soft spoken introduction.

Katie’s set encouraged the crowd to approach the stage to get a better look at the show. Katie first started off with a crooning ballad of “Bonfire,” from her newest album, Ivy Tripp, before introducing herself and recalling that the last time she played a solo show in San Diego was at a family barbecue, strangely enough. She laughed with the crowd about hating the silence between songs while she tuned her guitar and invited us to tell her how our nights were going. Her warmth and friendliness translated into her own rendition of Lucinda Williams’ “Greenville,” and her latest single, and my personal favorite, “La Loose,” evoked the longing yet dark love Katie hoped to exude in the song.