On a blustery Saturday night, it was a refreshing change of events to witness a performance from a band such as Waxahatchee at Brighton’s The Haunt. The indie-folk project is fronted by Katie Crutchfield, a performer whose vocal range exceeds expectations and then some.
Since forming in 2010, Waxahatchee has released four highly successful studio albums, the most recent being 2017’s Out In The Storm, an album which has received rave reviews and sees Crutchfield at her most honest and expressive yet. Amongst the other members of Waxahatchee are Katherine Simonetti, Ashley Arnwine and Katie’s twin sister Allison Crutchfield. This show marked the group’s last night of their June tour, which has seen them perform in Madrid, Paris, London and many more.
Joining them on the tour were Ex-Vöid, a pop-punk band whose melodic sound made them a fitting choice for support alongside Waxahatchee. The band spawned after Alanna McArdle and Owen Williams’ departure from previous band Joanna Gruesome, who received critical acclaim for their two album releases. As a relatively new band, they owned the stage with their chilled vibes that contrasted well with killer riffs. Lead singer Alanna McArdle appeared humbled and shy at times when speaking to the crowd, something that’s always nice to see from somebody so talented.
As Waxahatchee took to the stage, the first track, a cover of Great Thunder’s ‘Chapel of Pines’ was performed by Katie alone. The solo performance really emphasised her voice and the personal touch behind the songs being performed, bringing her band into play for the second song. Crutchfield is often praised for her deeply personal and often revealing lyrics and listening to them performed live felt like looking through an open book of Katie’s life.
Crutchfield stood centre-stage, in a flowery dress looking elegant and focussed. The performance hit all the right notes for a Saturday night, adding a little pace at times to an otherwise relaxed set. Personal highlight was ‘Silver’, which has already served as a triumphant single release for the band. Towards the end of the set Katie opted to perform alone once again, joking that her band mates had left the band. When they came back to perform the end of the set, the crowd were fully immersed and cheered for Waxahatchee’s encore. As Crutchfield expressed the group’s love for finishing the tour in Brighton, The Haunt seemed very happy to have her and with a summer full of further performances, I’m sure it won’t be long until she returns.