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Molly Grace Concert Review: A Heartfelt Hometown Show

Molly Grace performed at Rockwood Music Hall on March 21.
Molly Grace performed at Rockwood Music Hall on March 21. By Courtesy of Hannah M. Wilkoff
By Hannah M. Wilkoff, Crimson Staff Writer

Molly Grace, the rising pop-funk singer based in Nashville, Tennessee, brought the house down at a sold-out show at Rockwood Music Hall on March 21 with her mix of groovy, reflective, and nostalgic tunes. The native Bostonian’s hometown performance at the intimate live music venue demonstrated Grace’s contagious energy and emotional depth through her powerful voice and audience connection.

This concert marked the second show on the second leg of her “Lovesick Tour,” which is her first headlining tour. Grace demonstrated throughout the night that she has the stage presence to maintain her rise in popularity.

The first portion of her set got the audience into the mood of the night. Her catchy and snappy “Lovin’ On You” and funky “Ghostin” showed off her cheeky lyrics. Backed by plunky guitar, her effortless vocal runs showed off her innate talent.

In a tender moment, she sang a barebones version of “Sweet September.” The strong hits, repeated vocal riffs, and acapella moments conveyed the rawness of the song, which Grace made even more salient by sharing that it was the song that played in the delivery room while her niece was born this past fall.

Although Grace was certainly the star of the show, she was able to shine in part due to the strong support of the band throughout. With only three elements, drums, guitar, and bass, the barebones instrumentation laid an especially strong base for Grace to perform from, and the occasional backup vocals added additional depth to the arrangements. The band was not the focus of the concert, but they stepped up when it was their time to shine, such as during the layering buildup in Grace’s dance-evoking cover of The Jackson 5’s “Blame It On The Boogie.” Guitarist Jacob Hoekwater stood out with his charismatic energy and dynamic lead lines. Grace took the time to shout each member out individually, showing how the show truly was a team effort.

Following the cover, she moved into an acoustic set, accompanied by Hoekwater on guitar. In the unreleased song “Red Line,” she sang about former love and Boston memories, relating to the local audience and showing off her poignant lyricism. Also in this tender moment, she sang “My Mind Ain’t Always On My Side,” from her new EP. The lyrics expressed feelings of anxiety despite a healthy relationship, and the emotional depth showcased her wide range of performance abilities.

When the band came back in, Grace’s remaining songs returned to the groovy disco feel. Bathed in blue and red lights, Grace got the audience dancing with her on-stage moves and sassy demeanor. In the sapphic anthem “Lady Lady,” the jazzy tune combined with her confidence demonstrated the strength of the band in their extended solos. “Lovesick,” the title track of her EP, ended with the crowd chanting her name, a deserved celebration after her soaring vocals throughout the final chorus as she sang about the love-struck stage of falling in love.

With her blend of many styles and experiences, Grace’s concert had good energy and great vocals. Throughout the set, her storytelling capabilities shined as she related the songs to times throughout her life. Molly Grace is certainly an artist worth seeing live whether you are familiar with her music or not. Her performance proved that she has true star potential — this is just the beginning.

—Staff writer Hannah M. Wilkoff can be reached at hannah.wilkoff@thecrimson.com.

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