I arrived about an hour ahead of Charlotte’s March 8 set to a line of excited fans streaming perpendicular to the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn past a communal fridge used for feeding food-insecure community members. I left uplifted about the city I live in, the music I listen to, the people around me, and the state of the world.
Performing at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Toronto-based Charlotte Day Wilson not only connected with her clearly devoted fans, but gained a few more with such apparent passion for her instruments, her craft, and her audience. A low-key set design featured a fog machine, red and yellow spotlights, and a single bouquet of flowers at the front of the stage.
Between songs, Charlotte mentioned that she played her first U.S. show in Williamsburg almost ten years ago. Her mom texted her before the Tuesday night show, “You’ve come a long way since 2013.” It was easy to tell Charlotte felt very proud of making impactful music and sharing it with those who appreciate it.
The music was, how should I put it… very full, bordering on gospel, and had a way of making the audience sway back and forth and smile. Charlotte began the show at the piano, in the dark, playing a short instrumental piece. She progressed into chord-heavy guitar tracks, vocal-only pieces, and strings of saxophone-focused solos. I heard a fan shout to their friend, “damn, she’s a musician!”
The most intimate moment of the night came when Charlotte sat down at her keyboard and talked to the audience openly about how strange the experience of performing is. Especially after such a long time off (this is her first tour since 2019), she commented that, as an introvert, “performing is a bizarre experience, out of body.” One can only imagine how it may feel to make swooning, intimate, slow songs in your bedroom to then perform the same tracks in front of a hungry, moody Brooklyn audience.
Charlotte topped off the end of the set by turning to a particularly enthusiastic fan in the venue’s middle center, thanking her for her enthusiasm, and giving that fan, Olivia, the bouquet from the center of the stage. Seduced by the intimacy, the crowd cheered and watched as the connection between artist and fan became clear. Standing in the back with my camera, I felt my heart warm, and she gained a fan.