I received a copy of Tei Shi’s debut LP Crawl Space back in March, and I was immediately taken by the sense of finding strength in your flaws. The album features sections with a little girl doubting her ability, talking about being a bad singer, and you can feel the joy of overcoming those misgivings in Tei Shi’s voice. It’s not all as bittersweet as that, of course. A lot of it is quite fun and almost all is heavy with beats to move your body.
I saw her perform an opening set with MO earlier this year, and was excited about the opportunity to see her play a full headlining set. I was not disappointed on Saturday night when she took the stage at Schubas. There was a quick hiccup right at the beginning when the guitar player wasn’t getting any sound through his monitor, nor to the speakers for the audience. Someone shouted “You sound great anyway!” which I’m sure was nice for her to hear but probably didn’t sit well with the guitarist.
Other than that, the show went off without a hitch. Her vocals were crisp and full, especially in the howling screams of “Justify.” Some of the quieter moments were garbled through people in the audience talking, but for the most part the crowd was respectful. When they were talking it was mostly “Ohmygod I LOVE her!” or “This song is SO GOOD!” So it’s hard to complain. I was right up front of the sold out venue, and there was no pushing or shoving to get up against the stage. It was all very chill and fun.
Tei Shi is touring the rest of October. Check out her website for dates. Tomorrow will see the release of a new video for the song “Say You Do,” so keep an eye out for that.