WHEN: May 22, 2015
WHERE: UFO Factory, Detroit
“Son, you are no chasm. Your void holds no mystique to be unearthed. Son, you are not a man yet. No woman’s arms could carry out your words. No not even hers,” Mackenzie Scott sings on the opening song of the evening. Her most recent album, Sprinter, is a gorgeous, yet haunting depiction of various power struggles; love and hate, good and evil, beauty and ugliness and perhaps none more so than in this song. Fitting, as she preceded it by burning sage and incense throughout the crowd and it was unclear whether she was trying to keep demons away or conjure mystical spirits. Maybe both?
There’s a scene in El Topo where the father tells his seven year old, “Son, you are a man now. Go bury that picture of your mother.” Indeed, if you want to move forward, you must first bury the past and Scott does so with tremendous emotion and a powerful voice that wavers between a reverent whisper and a menacing scream that sounds like it probably wears a leather jacket and isn't afraid to pull a switchblade on you, should you provoke it. There was a b-boy/hip hop kid in the front of the crowd, presumably in town for Movement, probably on some sort of illicit substances and by the third or fourth song he was dancing like he was at DJ Assault show. The band (and crowd alike) couldn't help but laugh at his unbridled enthusiasm for the entire set and it provided a perfect juxtaposition to the seriousness and raw emotion of Scott’s words and voice and sort of underscored the power struggle theme.
It’s a shame that there were only 20 to 30 people there, as the 24 year old Scott’s talent has already vastly exceeded her age. Rest assured, she will be back and she’s definitely one to keep an eye on going forward.