By Veronica Liow, Deputy Photo Editor
On Nov. 16, The Paper Kites broke barriers at Gramercy Theater. Through humble interactions and the easygoing vibes that were set in place by the serene music, the indie rock-folk band furthered its connection with the audience members.
Beginning with “Relevator Eyes,” The Paper Kites set a rather quick pace to satisfy the crowd’s anticipation after the opening act, Horse Thief. Afterwards, the voices of two vocalists, Sam Bentley and Christina Lacy, danced around in harmony, as they serenaded the audience members with “Renegade.”
“I remember a lot of people commenting on our voices and how well we blend together, asking us, ‘Are you brother and sister? You blend so well it sounds like you could be brother and sister,’ and I think I always felt like him and I always had something special vocally together,” said Lacy.
As The Paper Kites continued to play, the more they eased into a calming ambience through slower-paced songs. These slower-paced songs helped develop a sense of peacefulness, as audience members found their own heartbeats slowing down to the steady rhythm of songs such as “Maker of My Time.” Though simple, the orange and yellow hues that shined down upon the performers helped further contribute to the calming ambience.
After “Lying To You,” The Paper Kites gifted the crowd with a piece that had not been released: “Holes.” With such a rare and equally as beautiful song, there is no surprise that individuals in the the crowd grew fonder and more appreciative of what the band has to offer.
Throughout the concert, Kentley conversed with the audience, addressing the spirit of New Yorkers and even noting that New York is one of the band’s favorite cities to play in.
Lacy agrees. “We always love coming to New York. I’ve been quite a few times with the band now, and a few times just on holidays or just because I love New York.”
At one point, the band requested to turn off as many lights as possible in the venue, leaving the audience unable to see the band on stage as they were surrounded by darkness. With the crowd clearly confused, Kentley explained that regardless of the political divide in America, music can bring people together, especially when that’s all the senses need to focus on as opposed to both visual and auditory ones.
In the midst of the darkness, The Paper Kites played one of their more well known songs, “Bloom.” Barriers broke as strangers sang along to the song, united by the soothing melody.
When the lights came back on, “Woke Up From A Dream,” a faster paced song played. The band’s ability to diversify its setlist kept the performance entertaining — something the audience clearly appreciated. With each person’s head bobbing simultaneously to the beat, focusing on the performance up on stage, there was no doubt that a sense of unity was in place.
The lights dimmed after “Electric Indigo,” as if the concert was over. With the crowd chanting for an encore, suddenly, the lights came back on, revealing The Paper Kites, as they ended with a crowd favorite, “Featherstone.”
Words are not enough to wholly capture the sense of peacefulness that The Paper Kites and their music bring to people in the midst of a city so fast paced. Though it is unsure when The Paper Kites will come back to New York, they have certainly left their mark.
Fans can expect to find The Paper Kites’s upcoming album to be finished by April 2017 and released sometime after.