An Intimate, Re-Imagined Night with Kimbra

This past Wednesday on December 5, I had the opportunity to see Kimbra at Thalia Hall located in Pilsen, Chicago. Kimbra is a Grammy awarded singer from New Zealand, known for her mixes of pop that often involve R&B, classic rock, and jazz elements.

She released her Primal Heart Reimagined EP on October 26, 2018. A small project that she took upon to give her songs a new life. As she said at the venue, she wanted her songs to be “seen through a new lens.”

Kimbra kicked off her ‘An intimate, reimagine evening’ tour on December 3, 2018. During this reimagined evening, Kimbra strayed away from her pop sound and opted for a more softer jazz sound.

Before the concert that night, Kimbra shared a post on her Instagram of her hectic day before the show but, was super excited to be back in Chicago to perform for her fans.

The concert was affectionate indeed. The stage she performed on was actually lowered to the floor so she was right at eye level with the crowd. The crowd circled around this platform and with no barricades so you could literally touch the mic if you wanted to. 

As soon as Kimbra came on stage there was this certain awe from the crowd that you could tell just by looking at everyone’s faces. Kimbra walked right through the crowd onto the stage with pianist, Zachary Tenorio and bass player, Spencer Zhan, both incredible musicians.

Photo by Stephanie Escobar

She started off her set with the reimagined version of “The Magic Hour” from her sophomore album; The Golden Echo. A mellowed version of the song gave off jazz vibes and this resonated throughout the entire set. 

This set the tone for the night, along with the blue and purple lights that filled throughout the venue, creating a sense of relaxation and calmness. 

Kimbra stated at the show that she is always surrounded around gadgets and technology in her past shows. This was a new experience for her performing without the use of so much technology, and she was loving it.

Kimbra continued to play songs from her newly released EP such as “Good War”, “Black Sky”, “High Def Distance Romance” and “Everybody Knows.” Kimbra also included songs off of her very first album, Vows and a couple more from her Primal Heart album that she did not have in her recent EP.

Something that I loved that Kimbra did was that she was giving a bit of commentary before performing each song. She spoke about heartbreak, relationships, protest, death and even laughed with the crowd about the fact that she had never seen someone eat popcorn at a live show.

Dawn was the opening act for this tour. Her set was very chill but, she definitely got the crowd hyped up. She also wore this magnificent headpiece that she seems to be changing up at every show. Her new EP, new breed is set to release on January 25, 2019.

Kimbra was joined by Dawn to perform “Version of Me,” which was the first time they performed it live together. It was an honor to be the first to hear this live.

Kimbra joked about leaving during the encore but, due to the intimacy of the set, leaving through the crowd and coming back after a couple seconds didn’t seem right. She stayed on stage and performed “Cameo Lover” to end the night. Everyone sang along and as soon as she sang that last note the venue erupted in applause.

Video by Stephanie Escobar

Big thanks to Adam Tabor for providing the feature image. Go check out his Instagram


I am a student at UIC studying Communications and Music. Started singing and playing instruments when I was in high school and fell in love. I love going to concerts and talking to people about music.

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