On March 2, 2015, I had the opportunity to attend The Shondes and Hailey Wojcik concert at my university. Despite a low turnout, both acts put on an amazing and memorable performance.
Taking the stage first was Hailey Wojcik. Wojcik’s strong vocals and demanding performance, not only had the whole crowd clapping after each song, but also instantly made me a fan of her music. She had a powerful stage presence throughout her set, despite a slight microphone malfunction near the end of her last song. Her strong and powerful one woman performance was further backed up by her amazing sense of humor. Wojcik easily joked around with the crowd and it was evident the audience was having fun trying to think of what fun things there are to do in this small, rural, college town. The audience was further engaged when they were encouraged to try out some interpretive dance during one of her songs, in order to provide her with some ideas for a future music video. After having an amazing time watching her performance, I would greatly encourage people to check out her new EP “Book of Beasts” which was released on March 3, 2015.
After the concert, Wojcik was nice enough to let me ask her a few questions about her music. When asked about how old she was when she started music, she replied that she was thirteen when she began guitar and experimenting with writing songs. She further stated that the reason she started music was because she enjoyed writing and that music seemed like a fun thing to do to try and express herself. Wojcik, when asked about what the inspiration was behind her music, explained that a lot of her inspiration comes from life (autobiographical) along with animals and books. Lastly, I asked her what stands out the most in her career so far. She listed three things: making music videos, the EP that she made by herself, and that she feels the current tour that she is on with The Shondes, stand out the most to her.
The Shondes took the stage shortly after Wojcik. From the beginning of the first song, The Shondes quickly captured the attention of the audience. Along with lead vocalist Louisa Solomon’s powerful vocals, the band stood out by Elijah Oberman’s violin playing. The essence of the violin provided a unique sound to the band that helped set them apart from other bands. Throughout the entire set, one could tell the entire band and the audience was having fun. The band’s sense of humor also helped to add to their show along with caring for their audience, which was shown when Solomon offered up earplugs for anyone who wanted them. Humor aside, it was easily apparent that each song that was played had a meaning behind it, which the band strongly stood for. The fourth song in their set, “On Your Side,” is about helping a friend who has depression. Throughout the song, the meaning it had to each of the members could easily be seen by the amount of passion in their playing.
Both of the performances were outstanding and I was disappointed that it had to end, however; I did have the class the next day and a math test to prepare for. The Shondes and Hailey Wojcik are definitely acts that I feel more people need to check out. Both featured powerful vocals and meaning behind each of their songs. It is apparent that both have a passion for music and are deserving of a listen.