By Anais Turiello
In a golden dress, Zoe Reynolds, better known as Kississipi appears on the stage, holding a pink guitar under green and yellow lighting. At Chicago’s iconic venue, Schubas, the crowd is buzzing with excitement for the solo pop and indie folk artist as she tunes her guitar. Opening with “Moonover” off her latest record, Mood Ring, Reynolds bounces around the stage, jumping in sync with the audience. The drums sound almost as though they’re echoing, breathing essential life into the song.
As the song ends, the microphone stand loses its balance, as Reynolds makes the joke, “This mic is falling for me!” triggering laughter from the audience. She then moves on to talk about Mood Ring, released the week prior. Moving on “Dreams With You,” her delicate voice begins to command the room, holding power over all who listen. As the beat drops for the next song, “Red Lights,” I begin to feel the bass shaking the floor beneath me, vibrating against my heels.
Reynolds announces with amazement that she has never seen this many people at a show for them that’s out of state. Hailing from Philadelphia, she glaces out at the packed crowd of dedicated Chicago listeners, who certainly know how to appreciate good music from all over. She then sings the dreamy tune, “Heaven,” with a ethereal feeling to it, comparable to the likes of artists such as The 1975 and The Japanese House.
Gliding through songs she describes as “the saddest song I wrote as a 19 year old” and “the saddest song I wrote as a 24 year old,” Reynolds strong emotions echo throughout the room, g iving off a feeling of relatability and solidarity in the well-known confusion of being young. With “With I Could Tell You,” the drums act as a slow heartbeat, steadily pulsing through the sad slow rhythm of the song. “Hellbeing” was my personal favorite, with its piercing honesty accompanied by raw emotion ever present in her passionate vocals.
As the show comes to a close, Reynolds introduces “Cut Yr Teeth” as “the one that people know.” A song with millions of streams, “Cut Yr Teeth” seems to have fully wedded casual listeners to the idea of being full blown fans of Kississippi. The audience grew more passionate than ever before, dancing and swaying, raising their drinks and singing along loudly.
Kississippi inspired the crowd of Chicago fans to feel the vibrations of her tunes, as they were left resonating with the lyrics, laughing at her jokes and admiring her ability to command and control an adoring audience. Schubas housed a true star on an otherwise quiet August evening.