By Sabeena Singhani, Contributing Writer
K.Flay broke boundaries at Baby’s All Right on Nov. 18, opening the show with a literal kick and a bang. Tomboyish Katherine Flaherty dominated the stage, rushing from side to side, looming over those who were closest to the front. She rapped her words, flowing them together like the thick drums that shook the floor of the bitty venue. The lights complemented her dark hair and she smiled, connected and moved with everyone she saw. She was a careful speaker but a carefree performer, and it made all the difference, her fans bouncing up and down, shaking Baby’s All Right. No amount of distraction could divert Flaherty’s attention from her task at hand, bringing everyone’s eyes up off their cellphones and into their hearts.
Flaherty’s music is known, in the alternative hip-hop community she encompasses, as heart-wrenching, audience members usually throwing themselves into a series of movements, but a few this night were crying to “You Felt Right.” Unlike other rappers, K.Flay brings to the table more than just money and power, her songs littered with the relatable feelings that heartbreak brings along. Her accompaniment proved to be just as strong as her, the sway of her guitarist and crack of her drummer a fierce background to her already commanding stage presence. K.Flay is no simple burst of energy — her music is an electronica infused rock n’ roll sounding hip-hop. What comes through, however, are always the all-too familiar lyrics, everyone has felt this kind of heartbreak before. Flaherty laughed about listening to Black Sabbath before the show, and perhaps that was shown through in the heavy guitar performance and desperation that came through in K.Flay’s hometown show.
The crowd clearly felt what Flaherty put on the table, “Can’t Sleep” mentioning that she “Fell down on Bedford, hope that it’s not broken,” the very street just next to Baby’s All Right, the laid-back small Brooklyn venue. It was clear her roots lie here in New York. Flaherty isn’t afraid to mix, to be who she is and it made her performance the overwhelmingly special intimate entity it already was.
The show ended with “FML,” one of K.Flay’s most listened to tracks, an ode to the confusing dichotomy of loving and hating the convoluted lives we lead as people. It was that very complicated thing that Flaherty mastered, so seamlessly and simply done as an artist who knows how to take the twists, turns and feelings to another level, connecting to her audience with the wave of a hand and the stream of a thought. It proved to be a memorable night, the crowd calling for an encore until she left Baby’s All Right with everyone’s heart torn out … in the best possible way.