I was delighted last night when I walked in to House Of Blues and saw a packed house for Chicago native K. Flay. She’s been headlining smaller venues across the country, occasionally playing before larger crowds in opening slots for acts like Icona Pop or Passion Pit. Now she’s getting some due of her own, and it is very well-deserved. WKQX brought her back to town for own of their Queued Up Artist Showcases, and they did a great job of getting the word out and building a strong lineup to make it a fun evening overall.
Flay took the stage around 9:20, with her drummer Nicholas Suhr arriving first and laying down a smooth beat to get the show going. The energy in the crowd was palpable. I was surprised to hear so many people singing along to all the words off Flay’s self-distributed record Life As A Dog. The front half of the house was a sea of people bouncing in unison as rhymes were spit and a chorus of voices could be heard on the hooks.
This was a big change from the first time I saw K. Flay at the University Of Northern Illinois. Her talent was evident, but she mainly kept her head buried in her laptop. Now she’s running around the stage, feeding off the crowd and turning their excitement into a frenzied rock and roll stage presence you don’t see in many pop/hip-hop artists.
Highlights of the night included a sing-a-long on “Thicker Than Dust” and a long pull off a bottle of Maker’s Mark during “Wishing It Was You” that would’ve knocked me out cold. I call those highlights, but really it was a fun show from start to finish. Flay was good on her own, but the addition of live drumming from Suhr takes the show to the next level.
You can pick up a copy of Life As A Dog on iTunes. I would also suggest going back and finding her old mix tapes like MASHed Potatoes or I Stopped Caring In ’96. No more shows are scheduled in the US at this time, but check out her site for updates.
For more photos from K. Flay’s set, check out our Facebook page.