I‘m a firm believer in the old rubric of judging someone by the company they keep. As a first time Tei Shi concert goer, every moment spent at her Sunday night show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg felt like a familiar family dinner.
Her opening acts, Salt Cathedral and Sonnymoon are powerhouses in their own rights. They each performed as if it was their night to shine; as if every audience member came to see them. They were humble, yet confident, qualities that played perfectly for the setting needed for a Tei Shi show.
Her fans were welcoming and were quick to strike up conversations with anyone around to find out their favorite songs or how many times they’ve seen her. For the uninitiated, they built up anticipation in ways that promoters only wish they could.
When Tei Shi glided across the stage, promptly at 10PM, she flashed a smile that we all translated as something deeper than happiness. She makes the crowd feel as if there is no stage. She sings with flowing and outstretched arms as if to pull us all closer while her voice wraps us like a warm blanket.
We shared an even deeper moment of intimacy when she revealed that she had recently lost her grandmother and invited us to remember her through a chills-inducing version of “Heart-Shaped Birthmark.” There was not a single smartphone pointed at her, and not a single voice was heard except for the one on stage. A quick glance around revealed tear-streaked faces, or eyes welled with tears as they tried not to blink. It was definitely one of the most emotional moments I’ve experienced at a concert.
“Home” is what she called this place, and at home is exactly how we all felt. From her two Brooklyn-based openers, to the warmest fans one could ask for, Tei Shi has built a strong foundation for her house and should definitely be judged by the company she keeps.