In the recent Netflix series “GLOW,” Kate Nash stars as the brainy and beautiful Rhonda “Britannica” Richardson, but the English pop punk has been annihilating opponents – AKA heartbreakers and haters – with her sharp yet sugary lyrics for over a decade. Armed with an arsenal of hits from her debut “Made of Bricks” through 2018’s “Yesterday Was Forever,” Nash delivered pop power-slam after pop power-slam during an unbeatable performance in Chicago on April 20.
The Park West show – presented by Jam – had a celebratory atmosphere as it’s been less than a month since “Yesterday Was Forever” dropped, though many fans have been supporting the album in advance on Kickstarter. Nash was at one with the crowd, shouting out to familiar faces, borrowing stylish sunglasses and dedicating “Sister” to a pair of super-fan siblings in the front row. She exuded pure joy on tracks like “Mouthwash” and “Life in Pink” – dancing with abandon while singing to perfection – and blanketed the stage in confidence on “Mariella,” which was “for all the freaks.”
No one says f*ck you with a smile better than Nash. Throughout the night she harnessed her power of positivity to prove that kindness is a strength that is no match for any romantic rival. “D*ckhead” started out slow and sultry building to a full on rager – accentuated by a masterful guitar solo from Linda Buratto – as hands in the air transformed into a united middle finger salute to that special someone undeserving of trusting love.
The bouncy and defiant “We Get On” further demonstrated Nash’s singular talent of turning anguish of the heart into a cheerful melody. Later, she tackled the stigma surrounding mental health by encouraging fans to take care of their minds as they do their bodies during a heartfelt preamble to “Musical Theater.”
After a plucky piano-filled “Foundations” tease at the start of the show, Nash spent most of the night sans instrument free to dance and reach out into the crowd while her band – Buratto (guitar), Emma Harvey Hughes (bass) and Alicia Warrington (drums) – blew minds and melted faces with their staggering talents. When Nash grabbed an acoustic guitar for “Nicest Thing” the room stilled in awe of her raw vulnerability which was beautifully articulated in the music. Park West’s incomparable disco ball only added to the magic of the moment.
“Always Shining” generated goosebumps as Nash – playing a purposefully simple bass line – manipulated her voice to express sadness, optimism, angst and delight with each turn of phrase. “Today,” “Foundations” (in its entirety) and “Merry Happy” also captivated fans while solidifying Nash’s status as the undisputed champion of the pop-rock rebel ring.
Earlier in the night, Miya Folick transfixed and transformed fans with a strong set full of “songs about being alive.” Ethereal compositions dominated the first half of her performance before she let loose with a collection of noisy rockers that reminded fans why it’s always a good idea to arrive early to catch the opening act. Folick seems destined to become a well known name.
Nash’s Yesterday Was Forever Tour will continue through early May. Head over to KateNash.com for ticketing information, news and releases.