Singer/songwriter/producer Lady Midnight poured out wisdom at the Turf Club last night. She said: “It is far worse to live life on your knees than to be killed standing.” She sang: “Can’t nobody put a claim on/ What you put your name on.” She proved: It is better to take your time on a project – five years, even – than compromise.
After lengthy eras in Malamanya, VANDAAM, and the non-profit world, Lady Midnight (aka Adriana Rimpel) dropped her debut solo album, Death Before Mourning, in May 2019. She waited until August to hold a record release show, inviting booboo, Ziyad, and DJ Keezy to open for her. During her set, she and her band (Miguel Hurtado on drums, Kwey on samples, Sen 09 on keys/synths, and Chris Bierden on bass) performed Death front-to-back. For an encore, they unveiled a cover of Rosalía’s “Pienso en tu mirá.”
Throughout the show, Rimpel drew from all the elements. Water pooled in the “Prtn Ctrl” interludes, her voice dark and intense. Air rushed through the crisp, grooving “Say It.” Earth was in every synth and bass note: effective and ordered. Fire blazed through the fury of “Fake News,” and the sage somewhere in the room, and the “Xotgun” cry, “Whose body matters here?”
It wasn’t all so solemn as the music. DJ Keezy’s pre- and post-Midnight sets proved, once again, how masterful she is at reading and nurturing a party. From stage, Rimpel celebrated her own hard-won arrival, swag surfing for a few seconds and shouting out the high percentage of “celebrity musicians in this bitch.”
But mostly, the energy at the Turf Club felt complex and timeless. Part of that stemmed from the band’s smoky-eyed jazz sorties. Part of it reverberated from a cool halo of synths. The majority came from Rimpel herself.
Photos by Mary Mathis | MPR: