Live Review: Colleen Green at Brooklyn’s Shea Stadium

23 Apr 2015 — Ethan Jacobs

Since Colleen Green’s official full length came out on Hardly Art in February, I’ve been totally enthralled by her distinct fuzzy sound and unmistakable, terminally-chill demeanor. On I Want To Grow Up, Green traverses the ups and downs (mostly downs) that accompany the societally imbued pressure of growing up. The tracks on Green’s debut alternate between bubblegum pop and belligerent fuzzy textures, mirroring Green’s inability to decide if growing up is all it’s made out to be or just a hoax, respectively. My favorite parts of the album are the intensely lo-fi, loud moments where Green regresses into her juvenile behaviors like doing drugs or staring at the TV—the responsibility required to “grow up” is too heavy during these moments and the volume of instrumentation totally envelopes Green in a stoned comatose.

When I went to Shea Stadium in Brooklyn to see Green perform songs from her new album, I was mainly looking forward to the prospect of being swallowed by the loudness of her music—the same thing I instantly loved about the record. However, the songs that Green performed live didn’t hit as hard as I had hoped because the sound wasn’t loud enough—she felt bigger than the music, whereas I wanted the opposite. It was the largest crowd I’ve ever seen at Shea Stadium, so I was expecting Green’s sound to devour the room to compensate for the fact that there was one of her and more than a hundred of us. Between songs Green kept asking the audience, “Is it loud enough?” For the sake of not being “that guy,” no one really spoke up until about half way through her set when the crowd unanimously decided it was time to crank up the noise. This happened just in time for “Grinding My Teeth,” one of the fastest tracks on I Want To Grow Up with an ostensible punk aesthetic.

Green redeemed the performance in other ways, namely just by being herself to the utmost: She maintained charming banter with the audience between songs, specifically on her desire to smoke a lot of weed once the show was over. It's such a turn off to see a musician act superior to an audience, so the humility in Green's ability to interact with us on a personal level was deeply appreciated. Still, the first half of her show left me underwhelmed. Sometimes you just have to turn the volume up--way up. 

I Want to Grow Up is out now on Hardly Art.