What do you mean Dizzy Fae isn’t headlining First Avenue yet? It may be unkind to wish so much fame on an artist who still gets X’s on her hands. But St. Paul’s own Dizzy Fae belongs there. As she demonstrated last night at the Entry, she has the voice; the stage presence; and yes, the look.
Before Dizzy’s set, her go-to beatmakers each took a turn performing solo sets of their own. Psymun (thestand4rd) eased in with a beat of birdsong and Grimes-like vocals. From there, he reached into his store of bright, dancey beats; imagine a chorus of pitched-down arcade squeals and lovely synth pad thumps. Su Na‘s set was more jarring and overstimulating, with Jurassic Park stomps rattling the building.
When Dizzy came out, the crowd whooped. Psymun and Su Na followed close behind, picking up a guitar and drumsticks, respectively. And with that, the trio dove into “Her,” the opening track off Free Form, Dizzy’s debut mixtape. Although they stayed in that project for most of the short set, Dizzy offered up a new song — bouncy and arpeggiated — called “Big Wall.”
Dizzy’s style gets a lot of attention. But take a moment to appreciate her voice. She’s trained in opera and other classical styles, which is why you might hear that tremor of hers come through. But she uses that knowledge to brilliant effect, lavishing daiquiri-sweet, absinthe-strong vocals onto beats.
And she’s too young to drink. Maybe because she has so much time ahead of her, Dizzy Fae has definitely been biding it. She released her debut single, “Color Me Bad,” on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 show in April 2016. She did an in-studio at The Current. After graduating from the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, she took off on tour, opening for artists such as Lizzo, Jorja Smith, and Empress Of. And finally, we got Free Form earlier this year.
That scrupulous timing just seemed to make the crowd more ready for her show. Earnest and welcoming, they showed support whenever possible, moving and singing along. “You’re cool!” shouted a fan. “You’re cool!” Dizzy volleyed back.
The show ran short last night — about 40 minutes of Dizzy in all — but that felt natural for an artist who has been so selective with her output. Being a Dizzy fan is like eating at a gourmet restaurant; you invest a lot (of time, in her case) for a small amount of the finest. And you savor it.
In place of an encore, “This Is America” saw us into the night. An inspired choice: Those on the dance floor threw their shoulders forward, mouthing the words and trying out Childish Gambino’s moves. Even if Dizzy isn’t part of the zeitgeist yet, she linked up to it last night.
Dizzy Fae set list:
Don’t Hate For Me