Gracie Abrams came on stage, chatted to the audience for a while, and then with a smile admitted she’d forgotten her set list. This paved the way for the endearing show that followed. Forgetting some of the lyrics didn’t matter as the crowd sang them for her. Spending as much time talking with her fans as actually playing songs. It was as gracious and intimate a show as we’ve ever seen. All set in the gorgeous Brook venue in Southampton, UK, with a sold out audience of young fans; we learnt that for many it was their first ever gig, some had been queuing since 8am, for 11 hours, at just above freezing, and one had flown in from Spain. Another had created many signs to hold up at a predetermined point in the show to collectively proclaim their love. There were several calls from the audience “I love you Gracie”, to which she would always respond “I love you too”, and it was clear she genuinely did.
This was the first of a short run of exclusive acoustic shows ahead of the release of her debut album Good Riddance on 24th February. The show in Southampton was hosted by Vinilo Records. Gracie played a seven song set, with frequent chatting, giving around an hour of show time. Opening with her latest single, released the previous week, the poignant “Where do we go now?” The gentle and tender emotion in her voice and lyrics is so well suited to an acoustic show, with a room full of fans hanging on every word, and with phones recording every moment. Mid set was Gracie’s first release of 2022, “Block me out”, a song full of self reflection, the audience singing along every word, a mix of empathy and joy.
There is something special about Gracie‘s desire to care and genuinely connect with her fans, which is one reason she has such a strong following. She asked that anyone from the crowd shout out if they needed anything, and handed out water to a few later in the show. She delighted a few fans by using their phones to take ‘BeReal’ app pictures, to film from her perspective, even lying down on the stage to take a selfie with a fan. She also took a bag of sweets from a fan and had her first ‘tangfastic’, immediately as she started playing a song. This was a relaxed, intimate, engaging show.
Gracie will support Taylor Swift on her Eras tour this year, a well deserved opportunity securing this musician’s rise to the top. She admitted to being a little scared, hopefully she will remember her lyrics, but it probably won’t matter if she doesn’t. She introduced her final song with “I have a cover that I like…. it’s a Taylor song” and the room filled with screams. She sang “This is me trying” and every lyric was sung back at her.