Photos by Misty Dawn
My alter ego is a Betty Paige type pinup girl with bright red lips and sky-high heels, so I love it when I see a gal living this vision as her every day life. Imelda May is a classic soul with a haunting voice drawn from decades past. She saunters across the stage like a rat pack era starlet with the class and style of a pinup darling. When May and her band of Zoot Suit clad gentlemen took the stage at San Francisco’s historic Fillmore the crowd stirred and whopped with excitement. The audience was ecstatic to listen to this raspy beauty and May was truly touched by their overwhelming enthusiasm. Being an opening act on many a tour she had a glimmer of a tear in her eye when she thanked the crowd for supporting her as a headliner. This is one of my favorite things about live music that can be a rare find these days. I love when you are at a show where the artist and audience are equally excited to be in the same room sharing the same passion for their music.
May roared through her first few songs with vibrant energy then slowed it down for a melodic interlude before turning it back up again with hits from her latest album, Tribal. Neither she nor the crowd could keep from moving the entire show. Her performance reminded me of an old Saturday morning cartoon where the vixen performed for a big, suit-wearing, whistling wolf. In fact, I think that some of her songs were written for this character personified.
May’s band was a perfect complement to her performance. Their rhythm and energy were outstanding and they were incredibly fun to watch. They could have walked right off of a record cover from the 1950s and onto the stage and no would have known the better.
All in all Imelda May’s performance was awesome. The amount of joy she and her band got from preforming was apparent in every note. They clearly love what they do and their fans love them right back.