With her cheery disposition and elegant guitar playing, it’s difficult to imagine songstress Tristen singing about the end of the world or a murder scene, but there for the grace of all those bleary eyed fans at The Echo was a great set about just those things.
It was a barebones approach, with Tristen on guitar and a second guitar to her left. Absent were the percussions that make a folk song roll along, only Tristen managed to entice the audience and sell them a mixed bag of uplifting melodies while painting some doleful images – her first song from the set, “Detective”, deals with the recently deceased and a few officers trying to make sense of the scene, while being a great song, it also set the tone of the night. Later on in her set, she asked, “Do you want to hear a happy song? Good, cause here’s a song called ‘Doomsday.’”
Tristen has a way of guiding the listener into a wall, while extolling the virtues of paying attention to the world around you, a sort of ‘I told you so’ moment before each song reaches the chorus or the ruckus that most folk singers make about some big oppressive force holding them down.
Tristen doesn’t make too many blanket statements in her music, but instead she belted out her lyrics like a blues guitarist who needed to prove something.
Before starting her set Tristen let the audience know that she was hopped up on NyQuil and had a cold, but you couldn’t tell it from her voice, which was spot on and every time a song demanded that she kick it up to compensate for the absent drums she bellowed, yowled and stomped, proving that any musician can play their own music, but it takes a real artist to conjure up their spirit animal on stage.