Anna Shoemaker Lights Up El Cid with a Riveting Performance REVIEW+PHOTOS: Anna Shoemaker, Wet World & Whu Else at El Cid 8/2/23
LOS ANGELES, CA- On August 2nd at El Cid, Anna Shoemaker proved why she’s rapidly climbing the ranks of the indie-pop world. Starting her career doing catchy covers that went viral, this Philly-born, Brooklyn-based artist has magnificently transitioned to crafting her distinct sounds. The evening was nothing short of a euphoric musical journey that showcased the evolution of an artist unafraid to wear her heart on her sleeve.
Walking into the venerable El Cid, you could already sense the palpable buzz. Fans were eagerly waiting for the promised blissful hybrid of indie-pop, infused with rich R&B vocal undertones.
In a masterstroke of sonic tapestry, +1 Records showcased an eclectic soirée that ran the gamut of the aural spectrum. Between sets, Valiant Vermin seamlessly commandeered the decks, ensuring the beat never skipped a pulse. Adding a sprinkle of comic relief to this audio feast, Addie Weyrich delivered a volley of wit that had the attendees in raptures. Setting the stage alight as openers, Whuy Else and Wet World dished out their unique brands of sound — a compelling juxtaposition of styles, both madly off-kilter in the most sensibly madcap way imaginable.
In tonight’s sonic tapestry, Detroit’s very own Whu Else emerged as a revelation. Opening the evening’s gig with tunes from his fresh out of the oven record, “BIG BRAIN MAN II”, it was clear the crowd was about to be transported. A first-time encounter with this enigma was akin to a rookie astronaut’s venture through the stars – bewildering yet magnetically enchanting.
As his playful synth beats pulsed through the venue, Whu Else’s lyrics unfurled stories of ambitions, celestial dreams, and the boundless mysteries of life. There’s an undeniable reminiscence of Chance the Rapper lurking in his sound, but with an electrifying charm uniquely his own.
Whu seemed to have a sonic versatility on stage. Those beats, rhythms, and harmonies? They weren’t just performed – they were lived, a clear nod to musical origins and artistry. Whu Else’s set was an expedition of self and sound. In a time where predictability reigns, Whu Else is a gust of fresh air.
El Cid became a rippling puddle last night, as Wet World took to the stage. Having only heard of their much-buzzed debut single “Volcano”, I was eager to plunge into the depths of their sound.
At the core of Wet World lies the duo Steph and Luke. Right off the bat, their symbiotic relationship was palpable. Watching them perform felt like witnessing two best mates diving headfirst into musical experimentation, feeding off each other’s energy and infectious enthusiasm.
Indeed, what stood out during their El Cid performance was not just the unbridled enthusiasm, but also the sheer diversity of their sonic landscape. From the assertive beats and fuzzy, detuned bass, they oscillated seamlessly between indie rock anthems, audacious pop numbers, and funky tunes that threatened to dislocate dancing hips.
Wet World’s chameleonic sound is a promising sign of things to come.
Launching into her set with tracks from her newly released EP, Hey Anna, Shoemaker delivered a raw, immersive experience. It felt like stepping into the intricate layers of her mind, navigating through waves of vulnerability, self-awareness, and emotional revelation. The title track, in particular, stood out as a poignant homage to her younger self. As described by Shoemaker, it’s a testament to dealing with heartbreak and anxiety at a tender age, encapsulating the sentiments of maturing quickly out of necessity. Seeing her perform it live, you couldn’t help but resonate with her struggles and cheer for her evident growth.
Shoemaker’s lyrics are self-aware, confessional, and dive headfirst into the complex mesh of feelings that relationships invoke. As she performed, the honesty in her voice, the candidness in her lyrics, and the energy she brought on stage, all testified to an artist who’s matured, reflected, and come out stronger.
And the crowd absolutely lapped it up. The concert reached its zenith with previously released favorites such as *Holly*, *I Think I*, and *666*. The new additions, especially the captivating *ADHD*, promises that this summer, Shoemaker is destined to ascend to even loftier heights.
Shoemaker’s performance was more than just another concert; it was an intimate peek into the world of Anna Shoemaker. A world where vulnerability becomes strength, reflection paves the path for growth, and music becomes the medium to communicate the most profound human experiences.