Bishop Briggs @ Union Transfer

WRITTEN BY: JACK O’ROURKE

While the rest of the city spent their Friday night celebrating Cinco De Mayo; eager concertgoers filed into Union Transfer to see one of music’s brightest rising stars. Touring in support of her self-titled debut album, Bishop Briggs captivated the near sellout crowd with her undeniable vocal talent and unwavering energy.

Joining Bishop Briggs on their North American tour was music producer, Manatee Commune. The Seattle native’s upbeat, electronic music transformed the halls of Union Transfer into an all-out dance party. With scenic images projected at his back, Manatee Commune got the night going by mixing electronic beats with the sounds of his violin and drums.

Tasked with keeping the energy going was SHAED, an electronic-pop trio from Washington D.C. The band featuring lead vocalist, Chelsea Lee, joined by twin brothers, Max and Spencer Ernst on keyboard, bass and percussion; quickly won over the crowd. Lee captivated the audience with soulful runs reminiscent of 1960s Motown, keeping the good vibes going throughout their set.

The bright colors and cheery vibes subsided to a pitch-black stage with a faint blue light revealing Bishop Briggs. The crowd was instantly entranced as Bishop Briggs showcased her unmatched vocal range on “Dark Side.” Momentum picked up as the packed venue was rocked by heavy-bass that has become a staple of her dark-pop songs.

The LA based vocalist established herself as a force to be reckoned with, when she performed her powerful single, “The Way I Do.” With gentle harmonizing verses giving way to booming choruses; the audience could not get enough, swaying and bouncing their hands to each beat.

Photo: Jack O’Rourke

Fashioned with her signature pony tails, Bishop Briggs played through her entire debut album, as well as a few new songs, while solidifying her reputation of having a commanding stage presence. There was never a moment in the 14-song set, where she was not bouncing around on stage side to side.

To close out the set, Bishop Briggs’ hit single, “Wild Horses” had the audience in a frenzy. The chorus was chanted by the entire audience; “Wild horses run faster” echoed throughout the music hall. Bishop Briggs was genuinely humbled by the response of the crowd, before leaving the stage.

The wait for the encore did not last long, the frenzied crowd demanded more. Bishop Briggs returned to the stage, performing the recently released track, “Hi-Lo” before giving the audience exactly what they came to see; closing the night with her mega-hit, “River.” Literally, giving everything she had left, Bishop Briggs jumped around the stage to each hit of the bass drum, even running out of breath before saying the last line of the chorus. Briggs asked the crowd to give their all one more time before a remixed version of “River” turned Union Transfer into a rave.

After Bishop Briggs exited the stage for the final time, there was this overwhelming sense in the crowd that we had just witnessed something truly special.
Set list:
Dark Side
Pray (Empty Gun)
The Way I Do
Love or Fear
Hallowed Ground
Mercy
Dead Man’s Arms
Lyin’
Be Your Love
The Fire
Walls
Wild Horses
(Encore)
Hi-Lo
River