FKA twigs Blue Stage, Union Park, Chicago IL, July 19

FKA twigs Blue Stage, Union Park, Chicago IL, July 19
Photo: Ellie Pritts
As the headlining act of the blue stage, British artist FKA twigs has amassed quite the buzz throughout this past year, all without even releasing a full-length yet. With said release making its way out in mere weeks, though, this set was singer Tahlilah Barnett's chance to make a grand statement, one that someone in a similar position made two years prior at this festival — look at where Grimes is now (headlining the Red Stage on Sunday).

Barnett's set had a slow, simmering build, beginning with a number of new tracks that the singer hushed through more than sang, constantly being buried underneath the drowning ticks and bombastic drum pads. It's not that Barnett doesn't have vocal range — she's proven it on a handful of songs she has released thus far — but it definitely took some time before her vocals fully bloomed onstage. Still, when she finally arrived at highlights "Two Weeks" and "Papi Pacify," it was well worth the wait.

That said, the set did leave with a lingering feeling of more style than substance, as Barnett spent a great amount of time showing off her impeccable dance moves ("I'm learning to vogue," she told the crowd) than truly pitching us her musical skills. Of course, there is still room for improvement; again, she doesn't even have a record out yet.

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