K. Flay and Sir Sly
Concord Music Hall // Chicago, IL // February 2, 2018
K. Flay is still the empress of hip-hop and angry alt-rock.
It’s always a great feeling when both the opener and main act have a massive audience, which is exactly what happened when Sir Sly and K. Flay sold out the Concord Music Hall. While K. Flay has been a well-known name for years (especially in Chicago), Sir Sly are just starting to get the credit they deserve. For those who came early to see Sir Sly, they were not disappointed. The three-piece indie rock band from California scored a huge hit last year with “High”, which reached #3 on the U.S. alt-rock charts and got the band their first top 10 single. Sir Sly’s vocalist Landon Jacobs came out for their set dressed in white shorts and black loafers, joking that he was glad to be back in warm weather (it was snowing and temperatures had dropped to 15 degrees). The band played in front of a huge glowing brain that pulsed to the music, but the reason for this installation is more than just for effect. Jacobs lost his mother to brain cancer and, following a divorce and a number of other rough moments, the singer worked with band members Jason Suwito and Hayden Coplen to write Don’t You Worry Honey. Their set at Concord Music Hall was both emotional and powerful, while never feeling too serious.
Sir Sly at Concord Music Hall, 2.2.18
After Sir Sly’s set, Chicago’s own K. Flay gave an electric performance and played songs from her newest album Every Where is Some Where as well as her first album Life as a Dog. Her raw lyrics and hip-hop inspired beats resonate with fans; she dedicated one of her songs to a woman in the audience who was going through a divorce, which caused Concord Music Hall to erupt in applause and a sea of “fuck yeahs!”. K. Flay also opened up about the song she was most proud of, lyrically, “Mean It”. The song is about her family and the support and love they’ve given her over the years, and many of K. Flay’s family members were in the audience that night. While she played some of her slower and more emotional songs, the crowd really got pumped up when she played her crazy, fast-paced tracks.
K. Flay at Concord Music Hall, 2.2.18
K. Flay is able to rap and sing, and her raspy, soft vocals are what make her tracks so unique. Her biggest hit, “Blood in the Cut”, was nominated for Best Rock Song at this year’s Grammys and was featured in TV shows and commercials. While this song showcases K. Flay’s great talent, what’s even more impressive is that both of her albums are comprehensive, powerful pieces of music. There are no bad songs in K. Flay’s catalog, and she performs each song as if it were the most important one. Having seen K. Flay live six times, I think that the artist gives the audience a piece of her heart every time she performs. It’s a wonder that she still has enough left to write such incredible music.