We were originally introduced to the groovy and touching magic of a live Say She She concert last November, when the groovement caught their set at Brooklyn Made. So last week, less than a year later, there was something satisfying in seeing a gushing crowd packed into Bowery Ballroom to take the mesmerizing live journey through their evolving “disco-delic” indie music. The local Brooklyn band has grown so much in such a short time, culminating in their first headlining show at this iconic venue between stops on their tour across the country. It was also marked by the successful release of the enchanting new album, Silver.
Piya Malik, Sabrina Mileo Cunningham, and Nya Gazelle Brown took the stage sporting their signature look: black and white. The band opened with “C’est Ci Bon!,” a song off their new record. The harmonies were, of course, beautiful, and as perfect in a live room as they sound on the recordings. With their perfectly executed harmonies and simple, charming choreographed dancing, their live show can almost feel like a trip back through time, where backup singers have taken center stage.
The entire show was a true party, and watching the crowd get lost in the music was a spectacle in itself. We were able to catch the incredible set from the night’s supporting act, Salt Cathedral, during which Juliana Ronderos commented on her experience touring with Say She She. “That’s what I keep finding in every room,” she told the audience, “people who love the music and feel the music and feel the groove and feel the melody.” The Ballroom show was clearly no exception. The audience, without a doubt, felt the music and the groove and melody that night.
Silver, Say She She’s sophomore album, showcases a true sonic trio, where an 80’s disco sound finds a natural home in the intimate, analog recording quality of the live-to-tape process. In the live setting, the record’s balance and harmony were present. Once again, it was an astonishing showcase of both vocal playfulness and excellence. On top of that, a guitar solo during “Blow My Mind” (and it really did) reminded the crowd of the masterful instrumentation we’d been experiencing all the while. In the second half of the set, the three vocalists exited the stage to “take a minute for the rhythm section” … which rocked.
When they returned, clad in silver, the music took on an otherworldly quality, which brought their psychedelic elements to the forefront. Their harmonies seemed to beckon like sirens, which created an enchantingly spooky atmosphere on that October evening in the Lower East Side.
The encore was a cover of The Jackson Sisters’ “I Believe in Miracles,” and saw more free-spirited grooving than practiced choreo. As Say She She sang, “I believe in miracles, don’t you?” we couldn’t help but notice how fitting it felt for this milestone performance. Whether you attribute their growing success to a miracle, raw talent, or some perfect combination, witnessing a snapshot of Say She She’s musical journey is a beautiful thing. It was evident that we were in the room for a special moment as that Say She She energy shone like silver.
📸: shot by Jill Boyatsis