Friday, June 03, 2016

Madison Paige Makes a Big Splash

I didn’t love all the music I heard at the Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend. It’s a very musically oriented event, with lots of bands and DJs playing, but I didn’t have use for all of it. Many of the performances, even some of the live ones, seemed a little computer-generated and inorganic, and after a few shows, I really began to long for the warm magic that can occur when a band plays together.

Just when I’d really had enough of DJs with laptops, along came Madison Paige. My expectations were low going in, because I knew she was very young (23) and primarily known as a model. Her set, at 11am on a hung-over Sunday, would, in fact, be the first one she ever played live.

I didn’t get any better of a feeling about what was about to happen when I saw the band’s set-up, either. There was a guitarist, a bassist, and a drum machine. Some of the backing vocals were recorded. Madison herself didn’t pay an instrument, she just sang, hunched over the microphone self-consciously.

But she was really good! Maybe she could work on her stage presence a little, but she really can sing—I’m confident that her own vocals were live. And the songs, which she writes herself, were well crafted, with intelligent lyrics full of interesting imagery and metaphor. She had worked a lot harder at her songs than she probably needed to, considering that she is, a) firmly rooted in the pop tradition, b) so hot that people will almost pay money just to look at her, and c) in possession of a day job.

Is she pop’s next big thing? Will I one day be bragging that I saw her first show ever? I don’t know. I just know that on a hot morning when I was in a hard-to-impress mood, Madison Paige’s talent jumped out at me, and that’s a hard thing to do at an event as kinetic and overstimulating as The Dinah. Here’s a link to my concert review, posted on the Girls That Roam site.

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