Vérité at Schubas

New York alt-pop songstress, Kelsey Byrne – who performs under the moniker Vérité – more than lived up to her name with an earnest performance at Schubas Tavern on May 23. The sold-out crowd found themselves bewitched by her tales of heartbreak, yearning and love as her flawless vocals effortlessly filled the venue with sonic beauty.

Schubas is the place to see up-and-coming artists before they become the next big thing, and it seems that Vérité is on the fast track to do just that. Her haunting melodies were full of complicated phrases that the singer expertly navigated through with a seemingly impossible number of notes throughout the night. It was only fitting that Vérité chose “Echo,” the title track off her debut album to open her Chicago set, in a sense, foreshadowing the way her music sticks with you long after she says, “Goodnight.”

“Thanks for selling this shit out on a Monday night,” Vérité said early in the set before showcasing her vocal prowess on the soaring, surrendering love song, “Colors.” She regularly took time out to comment on the outpouring of positivity coming from the jam-packed sea of fans, later saying, “Chicago, you never disappoint.”

Concert-goers were transfixed by Vérité’s electro-pop sounds throughout the night, but dancing proved to be irresistible whenever she played tracks off her dynamic 2016 EP,Living. The hypnotic chorus of “Constant Crush” resonated through every inch of the intimate space. Expletive-ridden lyrics are typically reserved for heavy genres, but Vérité’ understated use of the f-bomb brought an added layer of cathartic energy to her revealing storytelling, most notably on “Underdressed.”

Sparsely backed by a keyboard player and drummer, Vérité commanded every inch of the stage with her magnetic presence. At times the simplistic composition of her music referenced the carefully considered drumbeats of early hip-hop while other times the exemplary production rivaled that of pop’s best efforts. Everything came together in an otherworldly whirlwind of emotion during Vérité’s 2015 hit, “Sentiment.”

Lostboycrow impressed as the evening’s opener with his soulful vocals and infectious synth-filled beats. It’s hard to firmly place him in any one genre, a fact that makes his music all the more intriguing. Much of his set connected with the crowd – including a creative interlude featuring Kanye West’s “Heartless” – but his new single “Thursday,” which was released in May, was the perfect soundtrack to accompany the beautiful spring night.

With three impressive EPs under her belt, Vérité is poised to become a chart-topping success by the time she drops her first full-length album. She probably won’t be playing a venue as small as Schubas the next time she passes through Chicago, but Rebellious was on hand to capture the magic that a lucky few witnessed on Vérité’s pitstop on the road to pop stardom. Check out photos from her May 23 performance at Schubas above and pick-up your copy ofLiving” as soon as possible, you’ll need to blast it early and often this summer. More information on everything Vérité can be found at Veriteofficial.com.

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Laurie Fanelli

Laurie Fanelli is a Chicago-based writer and photographer who specializes in live entertainment coverage. She is at home at major music festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo and, of course, Lollapalooza and...

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