Photographs by Neil Van.
Katie Crutchfield has not come to Toronto with the complete line up of Waxahatchee until now. She was championed by a huge turn out; one that had fans almost spilling out the doors. After her acclaimed Ivy Tripp got released, it was confirmed that she was more than a one-album darling of critics and the indie scene. For such a big reception, both out there and in the room that night, Crutchfield remained shy and softly spoken. She signed some albums fans brought with hints of anxiety, as though she didn’t want to miss anyone or forget to get everything right during aound check.
Yes, Crutchfield is a real person, and we are seeing the mere moments before someone like her truly breaks it. Her robin-egg-blue nails matched her guitar in a way a teenager would style themselves in hopes that they’d be on stage like this one day. Well, there she was, and Waxahatchee put on a splendid show. A raw indie attitude was plunked out of the harsh guitar tones and the bass kicked out harder than it does on album. To experience the band at their most pure is to see them live, where studio refinement cannot cleanse the music of its inner demons. With a mix of Crutchfield’s more layered work and her stripped down material, this night was a good night to truly get what Waxahatchee is all about. They’re about honesty, emotions and dreams.
Crutchfield did her own sound check with her signature low hanging hair. She came back out with her hair done upwards. That was the only form of theatrics she pulled that evening, and it’s all she needed. So many people flocked to her show because of how relatable her music is. She still has the idea that these shows matter and that they’re a big deal. She’s right, but she has yet to see just how big and how important they are. With this kind of a turnout and that level of pure talent, she won’t be playing such small places for long (unless by choice).