By: Tatiana Hazel
Beautiful and natural brown curls bounce to the beat of the song that is blasting down Randolph Street. They belong to Chicago-based rising star, Eryn Allen Kane, who joins the curls in moving energetically across the stage she is performing on. Her purple, fitted jumpsuit matches the brightness and intensity of her personality and singing voice, and the attendees of the Taste of Randolph street festival Saturday night in Chicago are dialed in to the ball of energy rocking the stage.
I have been listening (and memorizing all of the words) to Ms. Kane’s newest two- part album, Aviary Acts I and II, for quite some time now. When I saw her name listed on the festival flyer last week, I knew I had to hear her soulful voice live.
As I fight my way through the crowd to the front of the stage, I look up and there she is. Joining her on stage is her band: a guitarist, bassist, three-part horn section, drummer and keyboard player. She introduces herself, the crowd roars.
I’m assuming I’m not the only one hip to the newest Chicago star’s music. The singer opens up with her song “Sunday” and immediately the entire audience is captivated by her voice. It’s like every note was pouring out of her effortlessly.
She announces that she would get all of the slow songs out of the way so that we, the crowd, could have a proper block party. Not surprisingly, nobody seems to mind the slow songs. Her ability to entice the audience with songs like her a cappella performance of “Have Mercy” show just how talented she is not only as a singer, but also as a songwriter.
The hour long performance was extremely moving from start to finish. I barely noticed the sun setting over the city’s West Loop as I listened to Eryn Allen Kane sing her soul out to the audience.
She took a moment to speak about the need to put an end to senseless violence and make a positive difference in the world. It’s senseless violence that inspired the singer to write the song “How Many Times,” which she dedicated to anyone in the audience who has lost a loved one to violence.
Once the night got a little more lively with songs like “Honey,” Eryn’s playful dance moves were contagious. The whole crowd was dancing along to the music, some members of the audience (myself included) even belting out the words. Kane herself couldn’t stop dancing, even when the microphone cable fell out of her microphone during the last song. She mouthed along to the music enthusiastically until the issue was solved.
For those of you have haven’t heard her music, you’re missing out. Not only is Eryn Allen Kane a great singer and songwriter, but she is also an extremely talented performer.