Flint Eastwood & Poppy @ St. Andrew’s Hall in Detroit, MI
Poppy’s ‘Am I A Girl?’ tour hit Detroit on February 7th, 2019. Although it’s been cold in Michigan this winter, fans lucked out that Thursday with 50-degree temperatures. By the time doors opened at 7 o’clock, a long line of concert-goers were eagerly waiting to get into the venue.
Local Detroit musician Flint Eastwood was here to open the show, after joining the tour a week before. At first, I was surprised to see that she would be opening for Poppy but after being at the show and seeing both ladies perform, I can confidently say that she brings a new level to fun to the show and is a great warm up to Poppy’s performance. She immediately mentioned how much she enjoyed coming home to play shows and the crowd mirrored her excitement. Flint Eastwood, an alias for Jax Anderson and a name for her solo project, has such a high energy stage presence that is unlike most performers out there. It’s easy to see how much fun she has and how much she belongs on stage. She played many songs from her 2017 album Broke Royalty including ‘Push,’ ‘Queen,’ and ‘Monster.’ A favorite of mine was her performance of ‘Sober,’ a song off her 2018 EP THIS IS A COPING MECHANISM FOR A BROKEN HEART.
At 9 o’clock, Poppy and her touring band walked out onstage to the sound of a screaming crowd. Her guitarist, bassist, and drummer were all dressed in identical outfits, wigs, and clown style makeup. Wearing a dress that could only be compared to Cinderella’s, Poppy opened her set with the title track to her latest album and namesake of her tour, ‘Am I A Girl?’ Going into this show, I wasn’t sure what to expect as I had only heard her 3-year-old EP and knew of her strange reputation on the internet. However, I quickly saw that being on stage is where she truly shines. There, she is able to be herself and strays away from the robot-like persona she puts on. In between songs, she still spoke in the soft, almost creepy voice, similar to that you see in her YouTube videos but it was still obvious she was ‘breaking character,’ per se. Before the show, I thought a lot of the crowd may be people just curious to see Poppy in real life, but I was pleasantly surprised to witness a room full of people who knew every word to every song. Not to mention, her guitarist seemed to be having the time of his life and often interacted with Poppy as they performed.
The majority of Poppy’s setlist was songs from her 2017 album ‘Poppy. Computer’ and her 2018 album ‘Am I A Girl?”, in addition to the occasional single here and there. Some fan favorites of the night were ‘Chic Chick,’ ‘Interweb,’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Be Poppy.’ She also played covers of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ and The Cranberries’ ‘Dreams.’ Poppy is interesting because while many don’t take her seriously and see past the character she plays, she has created a caricature of stereotypical pop music and makes fun of it while also talking about important ideas. And all of that is made into really good music. An example of this is ‘Time Is Up,’ a song when playing live she described to be about ‘robots killing everyone.’ While that is true, it also addresses issues in climate change and pollution. While I was aware Poppy made great pop music, I was surprised to see her merge genres and include some heavier sounds in her music. She closed the show with the dynamic song ‘X,’ which jumps between soft, happier music and lyrics to the polar opposite with heavy music and violent lyrics.
If you only know of Poppy because of her online presence, I highly recommend checking out her music. The ‘Am I A Girl?’ tour is going through the end of this month and ends in California. Check out Poppy’s music and tour dates here, and Flint Eastwood here.