Still Woozy and Wallice put rock back in indie-rock concerts

Still Woozy lit up the stage at his second performance at Brooklyn Steel, making his usual psychedelic bedroom pop danceable.

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Lea Filidore

Still Woozy played a concert at Brooklyn Steel on Feb. 6. (Photo by Lea Filidore)

Lea Filidore, Contributing Writer

Walking into Brooklyn Steel in East Williamsburg to see Still Woozy was like a breath of fresh air — and not just because of the frigid temperatures and even colder winds rushing through the warehouse-like venue. It was revitalizing to be back at an intimate concert with a relaxed atmosphere and a welcoming crowd.

It appeared that comfort was the goal for the evening. Unlike other concerts, there was no pushing, no aggression, no rush to get to the barricade. The crowd was comprised of people much older and much younger than me. Some concert-goers’ went casual and wore jeans and flannels, while others dressed up in elaborate bodysuits and colored corduroys. Even though I attended the concert alone, I never felt out of place.

Still Woozy is a bedroom pop singer-songwriter. (Photo by Lea Filidore)

The show began at a quarter after 8 p.m., once the crowd had amassed. Wallice, a 22-year-old indie-pop artist, opened the show and set the tone for the night. Her music, which is generally somewhere between alternative rock and indie pop, is notably more upbeat than headliner Still Woozy’s music tends to be. However, despite my expectations of gentle music and copious amounts of relaxed swaying, Wallice brought an electric energy to Brooklyn Steel.

After Wallice finished her 45-minute set, anticipation for Still Woozy began as the audience chanted, “Woozy, Woozy, Woozy!” Once the lights went down, the crowd erupted into cheers, drowning out the first few notes of the breezy, lo-fi track “Window,” Still Woozy’s first song of the night. 

I was expecting a pretty static show, seeing as Still Woozy’s music typically gravitates towards psychedelic bedroom pop. With strong hints of synth and a dreamy vibe, I wasn’t expecting to be jumping around to laid-back tracks like “Goodie Bag” or “WTF” that night. I’d never been so wrong.

From beginning to end, Still Woozy brought an infectious energy into the space. He took every opportunity to get as close to the crowd as possible, climbing on speakers and spending equal time at both ends of the stage. With his shockingly bad dancing abilities and his funny quips between songs, Still Woozy made an unforgettable impression on the crowd. 

Still Woozy will return to New York City for The Governors Ball Music Festival on June 11. (Photo by Lea Filidore)

The crowd sang every word back to him as Tani, Woozy’s guitarist, shook the stage with every chord. The two created a silly, casual rapport as they danced together and interacted with the crowd. Their act kept me dancing all night long.

I had high expectations for Woozy’s vocal performance — his vocals and sporadic quirkiness define his music — but I had no expectation for his level of showmanship. I had been a longtime fan and I knew he made the kind of music you listen to when you’re casually hanging out with a friend or when you’re reading a book on a rainy day. I expected lots of bright colors and Still Woozy riffing on his guitar. What I got was so much better. His band was able to expertly support his stunning vocals to create an immersive concert experience that felt more like rock than bedroom pop.

When the show came to an end, I was sorry to leave.

Contact Lea Filidore at [email protected]