Have you ever watched a house burn down? Seen a forest fire? Left something in the oven for hours, or maybe days? If so, the amount of smoke (albeit, faux smoke from a smoke machine) at Sky Ferreira’s show at Music Hall of Williamsburg probably wouldn’t have shocked you. For everyone else, the use of the smoke machine could only be characterized as gratuitous. Happily, this wasn’t the defining feature of Sky’s show on Wednesday evening, which was played in support of the David Lynch Foundation.
Ferreira played almost every song from her LP Night Time, My Time, and drew a few beloved cuts from her 2012 Ghost EP as well. To say her vocals were dead-on barely does the performance justice: There is a small contingent of performers who sound even better in a live setting than with the help of studio magic, and Sky Ferreira certainly falls into this camp. Ferreira wowed a full house of pretty serious fans with her vocal chops which not only met, but far surpassed expectations. Let there be no mistake: This newly-brunette 22-year-old has pipes.
The undeniable highlight of the evening was a chilling, unplugged rendition of Ghost’s “Sad Dream,” which boasts some of Ferreira’s most beautiful (and certainly, most devastating) lyrics. “I fell asleep so confused. Parts of me remind me of you,” Sky intoned in a hypnotic alto before breaking into tears shortly thereafter. “I don’t want to do this anymore,” she explained to the crowd mid-song. The audience sang to fill in the gaps while Ferreira collected herself. “Now literally everything is embarrassing,” she laughed at the end. Other high points from the evening included an expertly-executed "I Blame Myself," and clear crowd favorites "You're Not the One" and "Everything Is Embarrassing."
For all of the (literal) smoke and (figurative) mirrors, it’s worth noting that Sky’s performance needed no embellishment. With the not-really-notable exception of "Lost in My Bedroom," Ferreira's vocals were staggeringly impressive, and her stage presence charming. "She killed it!" this reviewer heard one woman exclaim, accurately, to her friend in the stairwell.
DIIV opened with a live set after a DJ set featuring Vito from dance-punk mainstays The Rapture.