Waxahatchee aka Katie Crutchfield provided the perfect remedy for the Sunday scaries on a rare rainy San Diego night. The church turned venue, The Irenic, along with the weather was a very appropriate setting to receive the sermon from Ms. Crutchfield.

Waxahatchee at the Irenic in 2016 by Francesca Tirpak for ListenSD

Waxahatchee at the Irenic in 2016 courtesy of Francesca Tirpak

The openers Bonny Doon set the tone right away with their languishing laid-back alt-country indie rock. Playing songs of their record Longwave, which Crutchfield has been a huge fan and big proponent of, laid out the sound of what was to come for the rest of the night.

After the punchy rock record Never Been Wrong, Crutchfield put out the “Great Thunder” EP which featured a shift to her more subdued singer/songwriter style. The set leaned more towards that style. Playing a set with Bonny Doon as her backing band, Crutchfield preformed some of the more quiet songs from throughout her discography with a stripped down version of her sound. Songs like “Silver” or “8 Ball” took on a whole new persona without their loudness that is present on record. They became stylized more akin to a song you would hear from Gillian Welch.

One area in which this style really suited was in the vocals. Her voice was even more impactful as the softer tones and acoustic renditions allowed it to shine and resonate throughout the audience. No one in the audience could doubt that Crutchfield had an amazing range before, but this performance really highlighted that. The “Great Thunder” songs benefited from this as her voice in a live setting gave these songs a powerful edge that is not heard on record.

For a cool breezy Sunday night, there was warmth felt throughout the Irenic. It was a real treat to see one of the rising stars of the indie world take her musicianship to a next level and left everyone in the audience yearning for more music and what is to come next from Waxahatchee.

Review by: Eduardo Rozen
Photo by: Francesca Tirpak