By: Andrea Tam
A sea of Karmin fans stirred with restless anticipation on the floor of The Fillmore on February 16. Up-and-coming artist Bryce Vine had warmed up the atmosphere with a few pop, rap, and indie originals, including a quirky jingle called “I Just Wanna Be a Thug”. He’d worked up the crowd, but waves of growing anticipation ran through the sizeable crowd as it waited for the emergence of the dynamic pop duo they had come to see.
The dark stage lit up with a split-second flash of brilliant light as Karmin took the stage with their new song “I Want it All.” The crowd strained for a view of the band that was briefly illuminated with several more dramatic flashes of light, before all the lights shot on. Clad in their signature monochromatic outfits, Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan electrified the stage. Heidemann rocked her red lipstick and red disco pants, curls flying as danced to Noonan’s trombone, drum, and keyboard solos. Their bassist, guitarist, and drummer were dressed in white, and the entire band radiated energy as neon lights lit up the stage. They seemlessly transitioned to their famous hit “Hello”, which drew a new thunder of cheers from fans.
When Heidemann asked the crowd, “SF, can you sing?” she was met with wild cheers. “We’ll see,” she said, and sang a short tune into the mic, which the crowd echoed as the first few notes of Karmin’s new title track “Pulses” began to play. Karmin followed up with “Too Many Fish”, a catchy, sassy song about break-ups, with a “Thrift Shop” interlude. The next song, “Acapella”, another well-known hit, worked the crowd into a fever.
Then Heidemann took the mic, warning that the next song would be a sad one. She explained how “Neon Love” expressed the duo’s frustration at all the delays in getting their new album out but said that touring provided a great escape. After the exquisitely heartrending ballad and a few more upbeat tunes, they closed the set with two loud and explosive songs that pumped up the crowd. The audience was dancing, fist-pumping, singing, and clapping to the music and shouted and appaluded several minutes for an encore.
When Karmin finally emerged, cheers turned to screams, and Heidemann invited one lucky and very starstruck young man from the audience to rap “Look At Me Now” with her. The duo’s original cover of that song has garnered over 88 million views on Youtube. Heidemann dispelled speculations that she lip-synched the lyrics-heavy rap song and dove straight into the stanzas, hammering out the words to cheers from the crowd. As the last notes died away, the familiar and well-loved tune of “Brokenhearted”, the song that first rocketed Karmin to fame, began to play. The crowd cheered more wildly than ever and hollered the lyrics as Heidemann and Noonan, still powered with seemingly tireless energy, delivered the hit with a brilliant conclusion to a sensational night.
Heidemann and Noonan’s extraodinary talent and passion shone through in that concert, as well as their humorous, genuine, and exuberant personalities. Packed with phenomenal vocals and plenty of punch, Karmin’s highly-anticipated album Pulses delivers everything fans fell in love with about Karmin, as well as a whole new dimension of energy and versatility that defines Karmin’s cutting edge in the music industry.
Photos: Andrea Tam