New Zealand’s Kimbra performed at the Hollywood Theatre on Tuesday night. Excited to be on tour and reunited with her fans in Vancouver, the singer opened the night with the premiere single from her new album—a melancholy track called “Save Me”. Described as an exploration of “how two internal realities can be present at once; chaos and contemplation, rage and still life-force”, the exploratory track set a reflective tone for the evening.
While a crowd of captivated fans filled the ground floor of the theatre, Kimbra sang centre-stage, accompanied by drums and synthesizer. Well-known for her Grammy-winning duet with Australia’s Gotye, “Somebody That I Used To Know”, Kimbra has recently released her fourth studio album, A Reckoning. She performed several tracks from the new album as well as a few older favourites.
Moving to the right side of the stage, Kimbra began singing the dynamic vocals that make up the intro to 2011’s “Settle Down”. Recording into a loop system and playing them back in layers, she led into the main vocals, “I wanna settle down / I wanna settle down / Won’t you settle down with me? / Settle down.” An experiment she described as ordered chaos, “it ends up somewhere else every night.” she noted after the song.
The eclectic singer had plenty to talk about and stopped often between songs to chat about her inspiration, from dating woes to the trials and impact of the pandemic. Though she sometimes struggled to articulate her thoughts in these moments, her music and lyrics are well-crafted and her performance was polished.
Slowing things down for a moment, Kimbra picked up an electric guitar from the stage to perform “Foolish Thinking”. A track she wrote with her future daughter in mind. The lyrics highlight the struggle of wanting to protect them while knowing they need to make mistakes to learn.
“But who am I to tell you what to do with your life?
Who am I to warrant what’s wrong and what’s right?
It’s not my place and no matter what I say
You’re gonna do what you want anyway
Thought I could remove the pain
But that’s my foolish thinking”
Kimbra ended the night with a two-song encore beginning with 2011’s “Cameo Lover”. 2018’s “Version of Me”, provided a final slow goodbye to carry the contemplative themes of the show out onto West Broadway.
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