I’m a purest when it comes to my music. I’m a big sucker for profound lyrics and minor guitar chords that make me feel something. I like when an artist is true and authentic; the way you can tell they’re the same person as soon as they walk off the stage after their set, as they are when they come out and meet the crowd for the first time. Now that you know this about my musical taste, you can understand Chelsea Cutler. Chelsea is one of my favorite artists of all time… I mean she’s right up there in the top 5 next to Whitney Houston and the Goo Goo Dolls (my musical taste is like a map of the U.S.), but the heart and soul she puts into her live shows is truly what turns a listener into a forever fan.
Last Valentine’s Day I experienced Chelsea at Exit/ In in Nashville and it was such an intimate set, so seeing her last night at Marathon Music Works, I was worried the show would have gotten more over-produced in a way that would take away from the person element Chelsea brings with her music. It was the absolute opposite. While Chelsea’s set was larger with better lighting rigs & more songs, she still came out in an over-sized t-shirt, ripped jeans & a low pony with the kind of energy that made you feel like one of your best friends was performing at a beach bonfire. After the first few songs, Chelsea started out the show by making the room feel like a big family reunion; she always strives to support a safe space at her concerts, where everyone can dance & be free to experience the music in their own way. I think this is so special and you truly see a shift in the room when she speaks to everyone like humans instead of just audience members. It’s a lesson we could all take into our every days, to be honest…
Some highlights of her set for me were “310”, “Crazier Things” (I swear if this song was out when my now husband I broke up for the first time in college, my dorm building would have torn it’s own walls down to stop hearing this song on repeat), “NJ”, & “Mr. Brightside” (that’s right… freakin’ THE KILLERS).
I’m so serious when I say you need to experience Chelsea live to fully grasp the power fo her music. Her songs are raw and honest and real and seeing her evoke the same emotion she had when writing them, as she performs them to a crowd full of sweaty millennials who know every word is really life changing. If you can’t make it out to a show, you can listen to the full set list HERE, which is honestly my new favorite playlist and I think I’ve listened all the way through about 10 times in the last 24 hours.
Thank you, Chelsea. Thanks for your real music. Your thoughtful words. Your bad ass guitar skills. Your Northeast attitude that I miss so badly as an NJ girl now living in Nashville. And for teaching us all how to be (better) humans, one song at a time.