The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Nessa Barrett’s Church Club For the Lonely Tour falls short of expectations

The pop singer’s minimalist concert promises a forgettable experience
American+pop+singer+Nessa+Barrett+takes+a+moment+to+peer+into+the+crowd+during+her+Church+Club+For+the+Lonely+tour.
Jami Lim
American pop singer Nessa Barrett takes a moment to peer into the crowd during her “Church Club For the Lonely” tour.

American pop singer Nessa Barrett took the stage for her “Church Club For the Lonely Tour” at the San Jose Civic Center on Monday, Nov. 13, performing a variety of tracks from her discography. The songs spanned from her debut EP “pretty poison” all the way to her most recent release “hell is a teenage girl.” Alternative singer-songwriter MAY-A opened the concert with a lively 30-minute set to loosen up the crowd as they awaited the beginning of Barrett’s set which began an hour later.

The stage setup was far from impressive, with the primary prop being a large glowing cross. Aside from the occasional strobe light, the stage was very minimalistic. While the simplicity and the contrast of the white cross and pitch-black stage encapsulated Barrett’s gothic aura, the lack of props was underwhelming. The spare stage set-up and light display remained unchanged throughout the concert, making the concert feel repetitive by stripping each song of its thematic uniqueness.

The concert kept a minimal set design, featuring a large glowing cross as the main piece. Barrett herself was dressed as the main attraction. (Jami Lim)

Barrett offered an objectively short runtime, with her duration on stage lasting only an hour. However, the lack of variety and subsequent predictability of the performance made the show seemingly prolonged. Furthermore, Barrett held a reserved demeanor for the majority of the show, serving a gentle but weak stage presence. Barrett attempted to compensate for the lack of activity by having meaningful interactions with the audience, especially when she moved to the front of the audience pit to be closer to fans for an intimate performance of her vulnerable ballad “lovebomb,” from her debut album “young forever.” 

Despite a few letdowns, Barrett’s costuming and strong vocals were the stand-outs of the night. Decked out in a black leather crop-top and shorts, coupled with a black, bejeweled leather jacket and silver platform boots, Barrett’s wardrobe choice established herself as the main attraction and also provided enough room for her to dance and maneuver across the stage. Barrett delivered ravishing vocals, implementing different tones for each song to give it even more life. She particularly incorporated this into her vulnerable songs such as “plane to paris” and “lovebomb,” where the background drums and guitar were subdued to place emphasis on Barrett’s voice. Through intentional lyric changes in “die first” and the emotional rawness in her vocals, Barrett promised genuine singing and didn’t falter as the show progressed.

Barrett delivered raw vocals that rang through the venue, distinguishing the live performance from her track recordings. (Jami Lim)

Additionally, the live instrumentals and bass shone during her louder tracks such as “BANG BANG!” and “i hope ur miserable until ur dead,” enlivening both the venue and the track. The upbeat songs prompted Barrett to slowly adopt a more charismatic stage presence, and the visible shift in the performer’s presence noticeably increased the audience energy, slightly compensating for the initial lack of liveliness. 

Greater efforts to elevate style and stage presence to Barrett’s typical caliber would have easily solidified the “Church Club For the Lonely Tour” as a noteworthy event. Instead, it consists of only a few memorable moments and is ultimately underwhelming. Avid fans will enjoy hearing Barrett’s beloved music live, particularly due to her stellar vocals—however, those who seek an unforgettable concert experience will ultimately be disappointed.

About the Contributors
Jami Lim, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Jami is currently a junior and Arts & Entertainment editor for El Estoque. In her free time, she loves to rewatch her favorite movies, take photos of her friends, and attempt to keep up with her thousands of hobbies. 
Aashi Venkat, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Aashi Venkat is currently a senior and an arts and entertainment editor for El Estoque. Her favorite color is pink and she likes to take pictures and listen to music in her free time.
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