On October 11th, Gabi DiPace released her first EP titled “Growing Up” into the world, and two weeks later on Saturday, October 19th, she was able to play those songs for fans at The High Watt. It was a crisp night with some overcast clouds still hanging in the sky from a bit of rain earlier in the day, but that didn’t stop fans from filling up the venue to support local up and coming pop artists, and about sixty people ranging from their twenties to thirties waited in front of the small stage for the night to begin.
Starting off the night was the artist Trella, who came out on stage sporting a long white trench coat and an air of confidence. With only a drummer, guitarist, and a backtrack for some synths and other samples, she started off her set with an energetic but flowing song that had everyone bobbing their heads to the rhythm. Trella immediately pulled everyone in with her strong voice that floated through the small venue. She also was very entertaining to watch on stage, and it felt like she was performing in a music video with the insane amount of acting and dancing along with the music as she performed. Trella had a great array of performances and ended off strong with her newest single, “Takin’ It Back,” which featured some funky synth patterns and a fun beat that had multiple people jumping along in front of the stage.
The second performance of the night was from the artist Bantug, who came out on stage with a flashy electric guitar with blue sparkles. Bantug had a quieter voice contrasting to Trella, but it matched her indie-pop style music and her lyrics to her songs, which she often described as her experiences with feeling anxious and lonely. A lot of her songs seemed to take inspiration from 80s style synths and mixed with her funky guitar sounds and rhythms. It made for fun performances of her music that had the audience swaying along.
After great opening sets from both Trella and Bantug, it was time for Gabi DiPace to take the stage. The lights came down, blacking out the stage save for only a few lights reflecting off the backdrop, and a pre-recorded dialog from DiPace began to play over the speakers talking about her new EP and what it meant to her. After the heartfelt words, a large drumbeat began to play and DiPace marched out on stage to sing her first song. She was met with loud cheers that only got louder as DiPace began to perform. Her voice matched the same confidence she came out with, strong and with feeling. After her first song, she had her sisters come up on stage to help her introduce the next called, “Shoulda Known Better,” which is the first song off of her new EP. The song carries an angrier tone, which is magnified by DiPace’s stage presence. You can tell that she feels every word that she sings and uses the space of the stage and plays off the musicians well to deliver a powerful performance visually as well as musically.
DiPace then goes into the next song, which she says is actually going to be her next single release after her EP, titled, “One Hundred,” to give her fans a bit of a sneak peek into what else they can look forward to in the future. The fun drum beat had the audience clapping along and dancing. Without stopping, the song then smoothly transitioned into one of DiPace’s earlier singles, “Ride,” which changed the claps from the audience into snaps with the more stripped-down arrangement.
The next song was DiPace’s newest single that made it onto her new EP called “Heaven.” This song showed off the higher and more breathy tone of DiPace’s voice to match the lyrics of the song. This style transitioned nicely into her next song off the EP that shared the same breathy tone and had a flowing instrumental track. This song, “High Dive,” showed off some great production of the show with the music sounding like it was floating on top of lazy waves and the lights casting a soft hazy blue over DiPace’s slow movements, matching well with the lyrics of the song overall. It pulled in the audience and had everyone immersed instantly.
After that great performance, DiPace then took a moment to talk about her EP, “Growing Up,” and how grateful and happy she was to finally have it released into the world for everyone to hear. “I feel like I put a baby into the world,” she explained, “except it didn’t take nine months. It took two years!” She then went on to explain that a lot has happened throughout the creation of her EP, and she briefly touched on some struggles with mental health. She then introduced her next song, “Normal,” as a way to describe her relationship dealing with certain emotions that she feels, struggling to just feel normal. This lead to an emotional performance that felt raw and transparent, touching everyone in the room who could relate to her lyrics.
In her second to last song of the night, DiPace decided to sing a cover of the famous Shania Twain song, “You’re Still the One,” which DiPace also plans to release in mid-November. DiPace added her own pop-flare to the arrangement by adding a few extra synths and an electronic drum beat, but it still was the recognizable country ballad that many people love.
Capping off the night, DiPace ended her show with a powerful performance of the second song off her EP, “July (An Ode to You).” With a catchy beat that had the audience dancing along, DiPace started off with some softer vocals in the first verse, but then quickly jumped into her powerful chest voice in the chorus, hitting high notes with pitch-perfect accuracy that left the audience awed and cheering.
DiPace ended the night as confident as she had begun, maybe even more so. She gave an amazing performance of every song off her new EP and then some, leaving everyone excited for even more releases she has planned in the future.