There are good shows and then there are experiences. SOAK’s performance at Le Poisson Rouge on Tuesday night was definitely an experience. The pint-sized Bridie from Derry, Ireland is only 19 but has a stage presence well beyond her years. Her voice is like warm velvet, with grooves and textures that reach deep inside my chest. Her debut album, “Before We Forgot How To Dream,” was released on June 1st of this year but she has been performing since she was thirteen. It shows in how she carries herself onstage.
Bridie was honest, heartfelt, and hilarious as she spoke to the crowd from a circular stage in the middle of the room. She talked about the stories behind her songs, marriage equality, her adventures in New York, and feeling like Spiderman. The audience, entranced, gave complete silence for her songs and roars of laughter for her jokes.
The power of her music is apparent. Songs like “Blud,” “B a noBody,” and, my personal favorite, “Oh Brother” left me aching in the best way. For her encore she performed Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” which gave me chills. I could have kept on listening for another hour (or forever).
After the set, the merch table was ambushed by fans trying to grab one of Bridie’s original doodles— herself as the Statue of Liberty. With only thirty copies I wasn’t able to get one, but I did grab a copy of “Before We Forgot How To Dream” on vinyl (finally!). I was lucky enough to speak with her as she signed my record and took a photo. She was incredibly genuine as she chatted with her fans and made silly faces in selfies with anyone who wanted.
This was my second time seeing SOAK and it won’t be my last. She said she wouldn’t be back in New York for a while. Until then I will be listening to my vinyl on repeat.