Photo by Ebru Yildiz
The first time I saw TORRES (January 22, 2016 at Great Scott with Palehound) was almost eight years to the day of Mackenzie Scott's most recent performance in Boston. After seeing that show, I thought TORRES was a good artist who would one day be great. I've been watching her grow and evolve as an artist over the past eight years, and I'm thrilled to say that I was correct.
TORRES' set was delayed a bit due to some technical issues with the keyboard, but one of the good things about shows in small clubs is that a late start kind of adds to the fun of the night. Scott got very chatty with the crowd while the issue was being worked on, and it just added to the intimate feel of the show. In fact, chatty was one of the themes of the night as she introduced most of her new songs with a bit of an explanation. (The fantastic What an enormous room was released just the day before the show.) Finally, the music was able to start.
And what a show it was. Scott has become quite the frontperson and rock star, and seemed to truly enjoy the performance aspect of the night. TORRES played most of the songs off the just released What an enormous room which was not a problem as it's a great album, and despite it being released less than forty-eight hours before, most of the crowd already knew every word.
Hearing older songs interspersed between the new ones shows just how far TORRES has come as an artist, but also showed how all of her music fits in together. As experimental as the songs are on her new album, they fit perfectly with more pop oriented songs like "Don't Go Puttin' Wishes in My Head" and "Thirstier." Even a ten year old song like "Sprinter" (which Scott explained now has a completely different meaning to her now then when she wrote it) meshed into the setlist splendidly.
TORRES closed out the set with "Helen in the Woods" (off 2017's Three Futures) which has morphed into a noise rock epic that would make Sonic Youth proud. The song ended with Scott performing a Prince style phallic guitar solo, which she did expertly. She came back solo for a one song encore of "Gracious Day," which was the perfectly melancholy way to end the evening.
Boston's Addie opened up the show, and might have been a perfect choice. Led by Adeline Vamenta, the band had a viral hit back in 2018 with "Drive Slow," but focused on newer songs for their set. They play an upbeat style of pop leaning indie rock that allows Vamenta to truly shine as a performer. They're an incredibly fun band that put on a fun show as TORRES' crowd trickled in, and even had quite a few of their own fans in attendance. Vamenta mentioned that she's most likely leaving Boston once she graduates Berklee in May, so we should all make an extra effort to get out and see them over the next four months.