Shaky Knees 2019: Natalie Prass
Shaky Knees 2019: Natalie Prass in the Rain
By Jordan Smith
The threat of rain at a festival is the threat of chaos – changed set times, intense crowding of all shaded areas and a fear of cancellation loom large every summer. But walking onto the stage with a knee-length pink rain coat, Natalie Prass let the inclimate weather become part of her performance, allowing it to suit her whimsical-yet-soulful pop.
Opening with “Oh My,” the first track from her most recent record, The Future And The Past, Prass commanded the crowd at the Criminal Records stage with a calm authority, navigating the stage as a personal dance floor with carefully calculated dance moves. Her performance as meticulously executed as her music, a diverse crowd joined in, dancing to her composed pop.
While her most recent record was a portrait of self-expression reflecting on the hard realities of a Trump-era United States, her live presence held no connotation of protest or angst, favoring the magical carefree feeling that only a pop concert can give. In the midst of a rock-centric festival, the foil to aggression and anger was a welcome relief, perfectly situated between the heavy Friday lineup of bands like IDLES and Incubus and the Saturday night attractions The Struts and Cage the Elephant.
Prass also stood out among the female performers of this years festival as well – contrasted by acts such as Lucy Dacus and Soccer Mommy, the songstress’ set featured jazz-inspired synth and keys rather than solo guitar strumming or soft crooning.
With both Natalie and her band wearing head-to-toe blue for the midday festival performance, it’s clear that while her music echoes her concerns over political issues, she’s here to have fun, and make sure her audience does as well.
The Future And The Past is out now via ATO Records.