As I locked my bike on a rack on Main St, I rushed over to the opposite side of the street to make the long line that was spewing out of the door of the Ark: the venue at which Haley Heynderickx would be performing. People among all types of demographics made up this line: elder couples, younger couples, grungy teenagers, and families. I wasn’t expecting this diverse of a group of people to be in line to watch Haley perform; yet, after her performance, it became so much easier to understand why she could draw everyone in who was listening.
The Ark filled up quickly; as soon as I acquired a decent seat to the left of the stage, I remained in it until the end of the show so that I wouldn’t lose it to the floods of people continually coming in. Comfortable with the seat I was in, I immediately felt the excitement within me that comes when the lights go low and the performance finally begins. The production began with a opening musician, a component of the performance that I don’t think any of us were expecting but welcomed nonetheless. This musician was usually a part of Haley’s band during her larger performances, but was given the opportunity to open and perform her own art. I was very impressed by the opener’s performance as she was able to create unique sounds with the few instruments she had, such as the grand concert harp, synthesizer, and voice. Soon after her performance, we took an intermission and then were brought back together for the main act.
As soon as Haley entered the stage, her persona was evident. Having made this return to the Ark, I could hear people cheering extra loudly as she entered because they knew that she would put on an entertaining show. She immediately showed an elevated surge of quirkiness and subtle awkwardness. However, she was simultaneously pleasant and very easy-going, which altogether made her absolutely comical. Hailing from Colorado, I could sense her background, the essence of how she was raised and how in touch she was with her natural roots. I would come to find out that this essence that she brought as what seemed like a spawn of the Earth itself went hand-in-hand with her down-to-earth personality.
This real, down-to-earth personality shined through her musicianship. Giving a warm glare of the indie genre, I could feel a slight aggression from her lyrics and the tone of her voice that gave a more substantial light-heartedness than the stereotypical airy light-heartedness of indie music. This raw, rich tone allowed her music to soar as an original composition and I felt that I could credit her as a true musician in that way. She shared her musical influences as result of taking questions from the audience in between songs, and you could sense the passion she had with performing the music she created as a result of being inspired by them.
Overall, Haley Heynderickx put on a compelling show with a warm personality and simple yet original musicianship that allowed me to understand why most people never wanted her to end her show, never wanted her to leave, or come back to Ann Arbor at the every least if she had to leave. After attending this performance, I was able to solidify my interest in small performances and be reminded of how enriching and fulfilling they can be.