Arts, Off Campus, Review

Holly Humberstone Primes the Crowd for Girl in Red

Countless fans crowded along the sidewalk of Commonwealth Avenue waiting to enter the Paradise Rock Club for Girl in Red’s sold-out show with opener Holly Humberstone. Many of the concert-goers wore LGBTQ+ pride apparel, with one person donning a transgender flag and running up and down the length of the queue. The excited buzz among the fans set the tone for the night and brought an explosive energy to the show. 

At Girl in Red’s electrifying show on Friday, the Norwegian 23-year-old singer-songwriter, whose name is Marie Ulven Ringheim, performed some of her biggest hits, including “we fell in love in october” and “girls.” 

Humberstone, a singer-songwriter from England, is an up-and-coming star and opened for Girl in Red. She won the BRIT Rising Star Award in 2022, and this supporting tour is her first-ever U.S. touring experience.

Although Humberstone is lesser-known in the U.S., she seemed to garner some new Boston fans with her rich and moving one-woman show. Humberstone showed off her diverse music abilities, as she set the beat to all of her songs using an electronic beat maker, played guitar and keyboard, and had special microphones for specific voice effects.

As the stage lights turned lavender, she began her performance of “Sleep Tight,” an unreleased song that will be included on her next album, bored, ignored & out of my mind. Her voice became conversational as the audience became captivated by her emotional lyrics. When the song ended, the crowd showered her in enthusiastic cheers, and she noted her gratitude.

“This is so nice. I wasn’t expecting this love,” Humberstone said.

Humberstone also gifted the audience with a performance of one of her very first songs, “Deep End.” She tenderly told the audience that she wrote the song for her sister who was struggling emotionally during the time. As the stage lights darkened to burgundy, she began singing with a beautiful, clear tone. Members of the crowd raised their flashlights and swayed along to the music. 

She also performed one of her most recent singles, “London Is Lonely.” The song’s memorable beat and catchy chorus were a crowd favorite. The song ended with a long fade-out on the guitar, mimicking the stage lights that gradually faded to black. 

The crowd pulsed as it waited for Ringheim to take to the stage. Her fans erupted into a deafening cheer as she ran onto the stage singing one of her most popular songs, “You Stupid Bitch.” The stage lights immediately started flashing red, to nobody’s surprise, as rock music reverberated through the venue.

Her performance skills and engaging stage presence became clear during her performance of “girls.” This song, which touches on her initial struggles with her sexual identity, had the entire venue captivated. Members of the crowd waved miniature LGBTQ+ flags as she sang. 

“It’s not like I get to choose who I love,” she sings on the track. 

During her performance of “I’ll Call You Mine,” Ringheim’s connection with her fans became clear. At the beginning, Ringheim momentarily forgot her lyrics, but her adoring fans immediately yelled the words to her and she was able to continue. This rendition of the song showcased her soothing vocals and the earthy tone of her voice. 

The energy at the Paradise Rock Club had been sky-high all evening, yet it climbed even higher during “bad idea!” as Ringheim hopped around the stage, flipping her hair back and forth. As the song began to build, Ringheim climbed onto a ledge of the stage. During a major beat drop, she dove into the crowd, who carried her back to the stage. Afterward, she joked with the audience.  

“New York couldn’t handle a stage dive,” Ringheim said. 

Ringheim also performed one of her most well-known songs, “i wanna be your girlfriend.” Before beginning, she noticed someone in the crowd who was feeling faint and needed water. She halted the performance to get her fan the help she needed, even asking people in the venue to pass around bottles of water to the audience. 

When she began to sing, the upbeat song had the entire venue dancing along to the beat. Near the end of the song, she crowd surfed again, and this time she was carried all the way around the front of the stage. 

During the final, dramatic beats of the song, she splashed water on members of the crowd as they cheered. As the audience exited the venue, it was clear no one wanted to leave, as concert-goers gushed about the amazing performances they had witnessed. 

Featured Image by Vikrum Singh / Heights Editor

March 20, 2022

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