Arts, Music

‘Blondshell’ Offers A Refreshing Take on Indie Rock at Paradise Rock Club

At Paradise Rock Club on Sunday, Blondshell invited concert goers to experience a different side of indie rock than they usually might hear. Blondshell’s performance, which featured honest lyrics and instrumentation, displayed a softer side of indie rock, contrasting the genre’s usual edginess. 

Sabrina Teitelbaum, better known by the stage name Blondshell, opened for Suki Waterhouse on Sunday. Although her performance somewhat resembled other classic indie-rock artists, there was a certain mellowness in her lyrics that made her stand out on its own. 

The crowd at Paradise Rock Club was compacted around the stage, and fans awaiting Waterhouse’s alternative music may have been surprised hearing Blondshell’s all-out indie rock performance. 

Blondshell had a clear, demanding stage presence and was accompanied by two guitarists and a drummer. 

To open the show, the guitarist began strumming “Cartoon Earthquake,” an electric and energetic opening song. The edgy title contrasts with the song’s quintessential indie melody that caused the audience to bop to the music.

The setup of the stage was nothing dramatic. Two mic stands and a drum kit stood on the side of the stage, making Blondshell, who stood in the center, the focal point. The set design felt homey rather than elaborate. 

Before jumping into “Olympus,” Teitelbaum dedicated the song to the girl that broke her heart. She invited everyone in the audience to feel a sense of intimacy in her lyrics and shared the sorrow of her heartbreaks with anyone in the audience who might’ve gone through the same feeling.  

“Hate myself cuz I always black out / I wanna save myself, you’re part of my addiction,” Teitelbaum sings. 

Teitelbaum’s lyrics in “Olympus” completely expose her insecurities and feeling of brokenness. While sharing the heartache and pain she experienced when growing up, she conveys her inner feelings through her voice, fearlessly exposing herself through what she loves: music.  

The ’80s ambience of the venue and disco-tech lighting were apt for a performance consisting of loud bass and reverberative vocals, especially when the lead guitarist strummed the electric guitar with full force. The music shifted from soft riffs and low vocals to a bass-boosted, raging guitar moment for “Veronica Mars,” the final song in Blondshell’s set. 

The crowd cheered and screamed as Teitelbaum sang her heart out, hitting a passionate high note at the end of the song. Blondshell’s performance transitioned from mellow to energetic throughout her set, and the finale warmed up the crowd for Waterhouse’s performance. 

February 1, 2023