Multi-talented English singer, model, and actress, Suki Waterhouse released her debut album, I Can’t Let Go, via Sub Pop Records last Spring. The album was quickly followed up this past November by, Milk Teeth, a 6-song EP that compiled her early singles alongside a new song. Celebrating the new EP, Waterhouse has started 2023 by embarking on a sold-out headlining North American tour playfully dubbed the “Coolest Place In The World Tour,” named after one of the songs on Milk Teeth.
We first had the opportunity to see Suki Waterhouse play live at the Shaky Knees Music Festival back in October of 2021, and we were suitably impressed. So when we saw the current tour was stopping at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro NC this past Wednesday, we knew it was a chance to see how she has evolved and matured as a performer and the ideal way to chase away the midweek doldrums.
Suki Waterhouse has built a devoted following, and her fans were buzzing with anticipation as they packed the Cradle. The room positively erupted when the lights dropped, Suki made her way to the front of the stage, and the band jumpstarted the evening with “Bullshit on the Internet,” which immediately engaged the audience and got everyone singing along. As the first song was brought to a close, the cheering and screaming of the largely young female crowd, reached levels that would make the Beatles in their heyday proud. For the entire performance, Suki was front and center. She was backed by a trio of talented musicians, but the focus remained on her, and she ran with it. She was engaging, energetic, charming, relatable, and ultimately oozed a sultry charisma that dared you to look away. None of which took away from her vocal performance which ranged from wistful and serene to soaring and powerful. In between songs, Suki took the time to chat with the fans up front and made an effort to really connect with her fans, it was an effort that did not feel forced or rehearsed… There seemed to be a genuine shared admiration.
The set pulled virtually every song from her debut album, I Can’t Let Go, and mixed in some of the singles from Milk Teeth. The songs framed a rollercoaster of a ride where the quiet emotional “lows” carried the same weight and power as the anthemic “highs”. By the time Suki ended her short but satisfying set with “Melrose Meltdown,” it was hard to tell if the band or the wildly screaming fans were louder. After a short break, Waterhouse and her trio returned for a two-song encore of “Blessed” and “Good Looking,” that sent the crowd out into the midweek evening delighted and completely spent.
Suki Waterhouse has certainly matured as a musical artist since we caught her at Shaky Knees two years ago. The Cradle struggled to contain her soulful yet exuberant performance, and bigger venues await. If you were not able to grab a ticket for this sold out run of dates, do not wait on her next tour. We are already looking forward to this May and seeing her back at Shaky Knees for the festival’s tenth anniversary. Her set will be on our “do not miss” list.
The evening was started solidly by Blondshell, the performance moniker of singer/songwriter Sabrina Teitelbaum. Blondshell delivered an energetic set of songs built around biting intimate lyrics with jangling, buzzy, and at times moody indie-rock guitar. Blondshell kicked-off with “Veronica Mars,” the energetic opening track from her forthcoming self-titled debut due out in April. Other highlights included “Joiner,” a britpoppy song reminiscent of the Cranberries, and in a further tip of the hat to the Cranberries, a cover of their song “Disappointment.” Blondshell and her band did an admirable job of winding up the crowd and we are looking forward to hearing more her…