After Sky Ferreira closed her sold-out show on Nov. 30 at DC9 with her popular track “Everything is Embarrassing,” it is only too obvious how accurate that title was for her performance.
The 20-year-old downtown grunge pop goddess/model/singer/actress didn’t seem to get sponsor Liberation Dance Party’s memo, standing stiffly on stage while her four-piece band jammed out behind her. Maybe she was nervous, stressed or simply didn’t care. Regardless, it was almost too awkward for comfort.
Opening with “Lost In My Bedroom,” Ferreira seemed like she was lost in her head as she blankly stared out into the crowd through the cloud of smoke emitted from the stage, constantly covering her face with her voluminous blonde hair. Even though the cord to her microphone fell out and her background vocals played on, Ferreira’s band overpowered her voice until she switched over to acoustic tracks “Ghost” and “Sad Dream.”
She didn’t quite recover from the shaky start, but the crowd enthusiastically cheered her on anyway. At one point, Ferreira sat down, an action nobody questioned until she stopped singing and said something along the lines of, “I’m sorry, I can’t hear myself, so I’m sitting near the speaker.”
Despite these discrepancies, Ferreira presented herself as a versatile artist with a sound that ranged from pop to country to rock. Although her set was short, it was understandable due to the fact that she has only released two EPs, “As If!” and “Ghost.” Ferreira performed a total of nine songs, five of which were from “Ghost,” her most recent release.
Ferreira’s acoustic songs really enabled the audience to see and hear the starlet for who she really is: a girl who has doubts, insecurities and dilemmas just like the rest of us. She accuses herself of being “steady or a head case.” She’s “bad on the outside, but a coward at heart.”
Ferreira’s tiny and slender physique also makes her cloak of vulnerability stand out on top of the leather jacket, short skirt and biker boots that she wears so valiantly. She may give off that “too tough to care” attitude, but anyone can see right through her as if she were a ghost.
Of course, Ferreira doesn’t let fans bond with her for too long, emphasizing callous lines and profanity before angrily shouting “Don’t let me down” into the microphone. After examining every aspect of her entire performance, Ferreira really only conveys three emotions: angst, confusion or apathy. This isn’t necessarily bad, though. In fact, it’s typical considering her age. Ferreira’s music is easily relatable, but connecting with her while she sings them in person is utterly hopeless.
Ferreira closed her set with her breakthrough track “Everything Is Embarrassing,” a painfully spot-on label for the show. For someone who’s been in the spotlight for the past four years of her life, she acted like she would rather go unnoticed amidst all the smoke. If anyone left DC9 unsure of how to feel, that’s probably what Ferreira intended.