Arts & Entertainment, Features, Reviews

REVIEW: UK-based Holly Humberstone puts on magical performance at Paradise Rock Club

As the sole performer on stage, all eyes were on singer Holly Humberstone as her melodious voice echoed throughout the venue. Her performance entranced the audience as they swayed to the beat of her tunes and softly sang along.

Singer Holly Humberstone, who opened for Girl in Red at the Paradise Rock Club March 18. Emma Hagert calls the British performer enchanting and beautifully personal during her radiated confidence opening performance at the sold out concert Friday. VISHVA VENKATESAN/DFP STAFF

Holly Humberstone opened for Girl in Red at the Paradise Rock Club on Friday to a sold out show. The line of eager fans waiting to get in wrapped around Comm. Ave. and across the street in front of Agganis Arena.

The England-based artist is no stranger to crowds as she has quickly risen to fame in the past year, performing live at the 2022 BRIT Awards and on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

As she walked out on stage with her signature two mini braids poking through her wavy locks, Humberstone’s acoustic version of “Overkill” rang through the club. Her voice soothed audiences’ ears as they bounced to the beat created by her looper — a playback device used to record in real-time.

As a talented singer-songwriter, Humberstone impressed the crowd with her instrumental capabilities. She creates her own musical backdrop for each song with her looper — using multiple pianos and guitars mixing to create an acoustic melody accompanied by funky electronic beats.

The second song she performed “…Please Don’t Leave Just Yet” added auto-tuned to the chorus, creating a vibrating effect to her voice as she sang. Meanwhile, Humberstone moved from piano to piano on stage, often within the same song, as the crowd danced and sang along.

You could easily find yourself moving side to side to the sincere softness and melody of Humberstone’s voice.

Humberstone’s latest release, “London Is Lonely,” is now her most popular song with over five million listens on Spotify alone. The song is relatable for anyone who has experienced change moving to a new place. Humberstone described her move from the countryside to a big city with the lyrics, “So many people, it’s so easy to get lost sometimes.”

Before performing this, Humberstone sang one of the very first songs she released, “Deep End.” She said she wrote the song for her sister when she was going through a hard time, “To tell her I’ll always be there for her and love her.”

The lyrics go, “I’ll be your medicine if you let me, give you reason to get out of bed” and “Sister, I’m trying to hold off the lighting, and help you escape from your head.”

After the debut of this song, Humberstone said she received a lot of messages from people saying they have experienced the same feelings “Deep End” focuses on.

In total, Humberstone performed eight songs, including a snippet from an unreleased song titled, “Sleep Tight.” Each was beautifully personal and enchanting. Her silvery voice clung to each word and, even at a whisper, the notes came out charming and sweet.

Her music was a mixture of different artistic styles, including Phoebe Bridgers, Oh Wonder and Lorde.

In her remarks to the crowd, she was very open in expressing her shyness and timidness but, on stage, Humberstone was as confident and crystal clear as someone who had been performing all their life.

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