By Andrea Ramirez-Maciolek, Rock At Night Philadelphia Correspondent
Venue: Johnny Brenda’s-Philadelphia, PA–October 17, 2016
Enter, a powerhouse of raw emotional femininity sharp enough to pierce through the most guarded walls of a fragile soul. Not afraid to let her guard down, or to spill the most tormented of experiences, Adia Victoria will seduce you with the sweetness of her Southern blues, rock, and at times haunting melodies, and unexpectedly strike with full-hearted protective uppercut punches with the delivery of her powerful lyrics. When listening to Adia’s songs you clearly hear a woman full of layers upon layers of complexity, from her hard in your face spoken emotion to her charming delicate stage persona
On tour promoting her debut album Beyond the Bloodhounds, Adia Victoria had an extremely well attended show at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia. For a late Monday night, with her set starting at 10, and a packed house; you can tell Adia is on the road to greater musical success. This by far a much better attendance when she first performed in Philadelphia to a group of only six people, mostly her friends, as she jokingly said on stage.
Adia graced the stage with her sweet, yet obvious confidence commanding attention with her beautiful gold beaded dress and long flowing locks. Her musical style comes from diverse inspirations. Bands like the Black Keys and blues legends like Robert Johnson and R.L. Burnside have helped mold her refreshing style. Born in South Carolina but rooted in Nashville, her songs are a reflection of her personality and what she has experienced. The songs are often soft, dreamy, and sensual, but finish off with in-your-face hard hitting rock and roll riffs. With a golden voice to match her dress, her songs are clearly a reflection of who she is. Adia is backed by an incredibly talented group of well-produced musicians who consist of Tiffany Minton (Drums), Alex Caress (keys), Mason Hickman (guitar), and Jason Harris (bass).
Adia showed Philadelphia what she is made of. She had the entire crowd jumping and screaming as she performed my favorite song “Head Rot”, which is a song packed with attitude and a heavy rock influences. She tamed things down with the eerie melody of “Howlin’ Shame”. She continued her set by playing songs about a dead cat called Mortimer, to songs about running away from the South. She performed the song that started it all for me, “Dead Eyes”, the song that I first heard when I accidentally discovered Adia a few months ago by selecting the wrong artist on Spotify, probably the best mistake I ever made in a long time. “Dead Eyes” is a song based on Adia’s perspective of the character Mattie from blues legend R.L. Burnside’s song “Poor Black Mattie”, a wild out of control woman. Adia dug deep telling the story of what may have driven Mattie to be the way she was based on Adia’s own personal experiences. The intertwining of both female personas is an interesting concept and one that touches on some dark areas of Adia’s own personal life. Adia has a great sense of nostalgia in her music, she feels a lot and it’s obvious in her unforgettable performance.
For a late Monday work night, I’m glad I signed myself up to see Adia Victoria. It was everything I expected and I appreciate her music even more. Her music transfers beautifully live so make sure to catch one of her performances here in the US before she sets out to play Europe next week.
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I'm a photojournalist who is passionate about music. I love the adrenaline of shooting live concerts. Photography has given me the opportunity to photograph some of today's most legendary bands, and entertainers. When I'm not photographing music you can find me on the runway shooting New York and Philadelphia Fashion Week.
Favorite quote: “Photography is a love affair with life.” — Burk Uzzle