THE BLOW is a performance of extreme minimalism that leaves you reconsidering your ideas of a concert entirely. Armed with a fan, a few lights, and a microphone, Khaela Maricich started her performance Saturday night at Brighton Music Hall abruptly, and without introduction, singing a short vocal piece delicately into the microphone, eyes staring blankly at no one. I was expecting a musical performance -– what I got was a voyage into the soul, narrated with a little bit of noise and a lot of silence.
Throughout the night, Maricich spun aphoristic tales of pain, confusion, and lesbian love washed in Sartrean nausea. The stories were so engaging and told so unhurriedly that the entire room stayed dead silent, waiting for the next few words like pieces to a puzzle that didn’t make a picture, but instead a mirror that stared deep into the self and pulled out raw chunks of passion.
Maricich’s personality on stage wandered from thoughtful to spacey, as she took one pair of shoes off, put another pair on, told a long story in sparse sequences, even ran her fingers through her hair for a full two or three minutes. And although I found myself desperately craving a backing band to accompany her onstage, such growth would have ruined the silence, the solitude, and the acute intimacy of the overall experience. I left the Allston venue confused; empty and full at the same time, which I think was the point all along.
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Sam Ueda is the Boston Phoenix's summer music intern. Be nice to him.