Teens and their dads crowded the El Rey Monday night to see 22-year-old electro-pop sensation Ryn Weaver.
Although wristbands were sparse, the singer’s 2015 album, The Fool, still offers substance to those who stocked up on $13 beers in order to tolerate the teeny-boppers.
Weaver became a household name seemingly overnight after posting her first single “OctaHate” to her Soundcloud page last summer. Celebrity attention from the likes of Charli XCX and Jessie Ware—plus major acclaim from big outlets with far more readers than this one—spiraled the catchy pop tune into a viral hit, with an EP following a few months later. Clearly a star of the digital realm, Weaver played to her eager audience, handing over the microphone to fans to sing a line or two, encouraging attendees to make friends with each other, and even grabbing a camera from the crowd to take a selfie for one lucky concert-goer.
Entirely self-possessed and confident, Weaver commanded the stage from the get go, beginning with the first track from her album, “Runaway,” a tune far more experimental than the song that made her famous with its pulsing bass-line and halting falsetto.
Most songs sounded almost identical to the recorded version. Although bass, guitar, drums, and keyboard players joined the stage, added tracks filled out the sound to keep up with Weavers’ layers of vocals. Pre-recorded tracks can feel a bit stagey but tunes like “Sail On” and “Pierre” proved that recordings were only there so the singer could focus on her powerhouse vocal moments, not to hide anything.
The young crowd was clearly familiar with all 11 songs on her album that dropped less than a month ago, with each tune containing a faint echo from the crowd. Still, songs from her EP were certainly the favorites and where Weaver seemed the most at ease. She played with the timing for a more dance-friendly version of “Promises,” taking the chorus into a higher range instead of singing it straight.
Weaver pulled out “OctaHate” for the penultimate tune. Seemingly without warning, a swarm of fans landed on the stag. All undoubtedly thrilled to get their hands on the singer, some sang along, some danced a bit, but most just pulled out their phones and took pictures.