Candace Camacho, also known as Duendita, was once described by Pitchfork as “a spiritual soul singer who worships at the altar of self-love.” If Duendita’s religion is self-love, consider me a convert. She undulated between slow and melodic R&B and driving bass infused electronic beats with scattered spoken word interludes throughout. Although a packed Metro was there for her, cheering loudly after each song, she seemed barely to notice their presence, largely staying behind her podium. Occasionally it felt as if she almost got too lost in her music, causing her songs to lose a bit of direction – but her impressive vocals made up for it. Her voice is deep and raspy, powerful yet delicate, and was made even stronger by her experimental production. She at times described songs as “weird,” and it was this very weirdness that created my favorite moments in her set. One highlight was her second to last song, “Healing the Pain,” which played with disjointed sound in a really fascinating way. Near the beginning of her set, she joked, “Chicago’s the real deal so I feel like I gotta come correct” – and she certainly did.
Crumb took the stage wearing all black and white, matching the minimalistic aesthetic of their set. They had no staging other than massive metallic flowers, which folded and unfolded to the beats of their music. This lack of elaborate staging and outfits allowed for Crumb’s music to take the spotlight – as it very well should. Crumb’s music has often been described both by publications and its members as music to listen to by yourself, sounds designed to reflect our interiority. Because of this, I wasn’t at all sure what to expect out of a sold out show at Metro, but for much of their set, it felt almost as if I was listening by myself. Each person in the crowd seemed wrapped up in their own worlds, caught up in the trance of their music. Crumb created an atmosphere of collective interiority I have rarely felt at shows, a crowd composed of individual reactions and emotions.
In their more upbeat moments, the crowd came together more, headbanging to the end of “Balloon” and screaming “I love you” after each fantastic instrumental solo. In fact, the instrumental solos were what, for me, made the show truly phenomenal; an impressive saxophone solo at the end of “Trophy” and an extensive electric guitar interlude in “Ghostride” were some of my favorite moments. Another highlight came during “Fall Down,” where the crowd started a thunderous clap to the beats of lead singer Lila’s voice. The show ended with “Locket” and an encore of “Nina.” As I left Metro, I felt as if I had awoken from a dream of sorts, with “close your eyes and hear my secret” endlessly looping in my brain. Crumb live was all-encompassing, blanketing me in their sounds and transporting me to a different mental state – one I hope to visit again in the future.
tunnel (all that you had)