This weekend, Red Bull Sound Select hosted the inaugural 3 Days In Philly concert series, which included an all-female lineup: Girlpool, The Dove & The Wolf, and Queen of Jeans on day 1; Noname, Philly’s own Andrea Valle and Brianna Cash on day 2; and Syd, Ravyn Lenae, St. Beauty, and a DJ set from Dawn Richard on day 3. Though not explicitly stated, the theme and message for the concert series was simple: to put on display the range of musical styles, gender representations and sexualities, and followings amongst women, specifically women of color.
Thanks to my good friend and drummer, Remey Williams (check out his music!) I was able to attend the third night of the concert series. The night opened with the Wondaland duo, St. Beauty, followed by Chicago-native, Ravyn Lanae, and capped off with the front woman from The Internet, Syd, with each artist bringing a distinctively different performance style to the stage.
St. Beauty, backed by a three-piece band, displayed their ranging musical sensibilities: Pop, Rock, R&B, with splashes of Trap-808s. Touring with the Wondaland Arts Soceity, and being featured on Insecure has helped the duo amass a following in just a few years, though they’re still a relatively young group. Fans passionately sang along to songs like Going Nowhere, Borders, and Holographic Lover - songs that rang out like anthems for those in their early-to-mid-twenties. When the duo broke into Andre 3000’s Prototype, led by the opening guitar riff, the crowd was immediately wooed. Prototype served as an ode to their hometown, Atlanta, and their musical influences – a moment fans were pleasantly surprised by.
Then there was Ravyn Lenae, the 18-year old, singer-songwriter from Chicago. Grounded in R&B and House Music, Lanae’s music is great for a live setting - up tempo and vibrant. Though relatively young, Lenae’s music posses a level of depth, and creatively crafted storytelling that made her live performance more compelling. And as a gifted, and classically trained, singer Lanae’s vocal performance was stellar, soaring over the often too-loud backing track.
Performing in front of large white screen highlighted with accents of blue and green lights, Syd took the stage. While Syd’s work with The Internet is more R&B and instrumentally driven, her solo work is a lot edgier, teetering the line between Trap and R&B. Nonetheless, as Syd performed music from her debut, solo album Fin and follow-up EP, Always Never Home it became clear, if it wasn’t already, that Syd is well her on way to becoming a superstar. The crowd’s response to her music was remarkable – especially when Syd began singing Dollar Bills then seamlessly flowing into Jill Scott’s He Loves Me (Lyzel In E Flat) as she thanked the audience, and Philadelphia, for giving the world Jill Scott. In a moment of vulnerability, Syd closed the night with Insecurities, and thanked her fans for supporting her, and her music.