I was so excited when underscores released her latest album, Wallsocket, but when she mentioned that she was going on tour I was absolutely ecstatic!! I was given the opportunity to photograph her show at the Valley Bar in Phoenix thanks to Mom+Pop music! I first heard of underscores when she opened for 100 gecs back in 2021. At the time, she was promoting her album boneyard aka fearmonger. To say I was starstruck would be an understatement. I fell in love with her music and she quickly became one of my favorite artists! Getting to see her perform live again was such a great experience!
The show overall was hands down phenomenal. Opening for underscores was a hyperpop artist by the name of Jedwill. I have a terrible habit of haphazardly researching the opener for shows. I listened to one song (which happened to be his latest release)
by Jedwill before making the trip to Phoenix. I liked the song, "City", but didn't particularly give it much thought. That all changed when Jedwill started performing. His set was so incredible and high-energy, perfect for energizing the crowd! He had a great stage presence and interacted with the crowd quite frequently. I always worry that crowds will be low-energy with the openers of shows, but Jedwill's music was so fun to listen to! I didn't see the crowd die at all! My favorite part of his set was when he performed a cover of Owl City's "Fireflies".
I don't have words to describe the beauty and impactfulness of underscores' set. Her
set opened with a short animated skit of two characters. One of them, supposedly representing her, is playing DDR. The animation style is reminiscent of low-poly PS2 games. This skit was continuous and reoccurring throughout the show. It told of the story of two friends hanging out while an old man stalks the character that represents underscores. After the skit ended, underscores came out on stage and greeted the crowd, everyone was cheering!
Opening with the first song off of Wallsocket, "Cops and robbers", the first thing I took notice of were the visuals she had playing on the screen behind her. She had visuals for all of her songs; they were all well done and perfectly captured the emotions of each song. I honestly can't choose one moment to claim as my favorite, her entire show was just so good. There where moments where she did some live mixing with a drumpad that was on the table. Along with her songs from Wallsocket, she also performed songs from Fishmonger and boneyard aka fearmonger. Her high-energy songs,"Old money bitch", "Girls and boys", "Spoiled little brat" etc., were accompanied by her slower, more personal songs. Her performance of "You don't even know who I am" was so beautiful.
Some other performances of her's that struck a chord with me were "Geez louise", "Johnny johnny johnny" and her cover of "Criminal" originally by Britney Spears. I think the visuals she had playing behind her also helped her convey the emotions that she wanted. I feel like her performance told a deep and personal story to the audience. It's so impressive to be able to tell the kind of story she did with music that's so catchy yet moving. She's relateable and she takes the time to connect with fans; She sticks around after her shows to meet some of her fans. underscores and Jedwill shouldn't be playing in small venues and they deserve praise for the music they make!
(Last picture courtesy of Mig Rosas, taken on a 3DS camera)