Hiatus Kaiyote gave St. Louisans a taste of their direction and they are only getting higher.
The Pageant, St. Louis
Tuesday, August 9, was the first time Australian future-soul band Hiatus Kaiyote came to St. Louis. After this show, I have no doubt they will return to an even bigger crowd. This underground group has a large fan base of music lovers of all genres, and that was well reflected in the audience at The Pageant. People of all races, colors, and religions attended this show. I think that, in a way, that’s what this group represents. Their music is hard to put into a genre, and most in the audience looked similarly hard to place into a box—which, to me, was a beautiful sight.
Lead singer Nai Palm’s stage presence was unlike any other I have seen perform live. She controlled not only the band, but the audience, as well. When she wasn’t singing with the guitar, she centered herself on the front of the stage and started to sing in somewhat of a power stance. Her gestures were similar to that of a rapper or an MC, which helped to maintain the focus on her. Everyone was vibing with her every move; I noticed some in the audience even copying her movements.
They performed a good selection of tunes from their 2013 album Tawk Tomahawk, as well as their newest album, Choose Your Weapon, released in 2015. People were singing along with every lyric and attempting to execute her every vocal run and high note. Every song had the audience jumping. There were a couple unreleased songs performed, which were extremely well received.
When their scheduled set ended, Hiatus Kaiyote left the stage and people quickly began shouting, “One more song.” Usually concertgoers will leave if the wait between the encore and the set is longer than a couple minutes (and I can say I am guilty of this), but this show was different. I found myself chanting along with the other dedicated fans, and as soon as the band resurfaced, the excitement only grew. They performed an unreleased song that hyped up the audience, and then ended the night with “By Fire” off Choose Your Weapon. Hiatus Kaiyote gave St. Louisans a taste of their direction and they are only getting higher.
I can say without hesitation that this was the best concert I have ever experienced during my short time on earth. I’m not sure if my musical high has come down yet, but I want to relive every minute of the show. | Toni Saputo