Samia – Live at DC’s 9:30 Club

Samia - Live at DC's 9:30 Club. Sam Franzini reviews the indie singer/songwriter's February 7th show at the legendary DC Club
Samia photo by Sam Franzini

Samia at DC’s 9:30 Club: Darkly Relatable Indie Rock from a Rising Star

During the first song Samia performed at DC’s 9:30 club this Tuesday, the crowd was completely silent, except to come together to scream the song’s most searing and unforgettable line: “I hope you marry the girl from your hometown / And I’ll fucking kill her / And I’ll fucking freak out.” Samia writes with basically no filter, letting her truest and darkest feelings come out on paper, and then, in song: before she played “As You Are”, from her 2021 EP Scout, she mentioned it was the most vulnerable song she’s ever written.

Playing songs from that EP, her debut, The Baby, and 2023’s excellent Honey, she swerved between emotional ballads (“Pink Balloon”, “Breathing Song”, “To Me It Was”), exuberant and joyful pop moments (“Mad At Me”, “Amelia”, “Big Wheel”) to songs where she let go and screamed it out (“Triptych”, “Is There Something In The Movies?”). Her music is visceral, and even in quiet moments has the ability to cut deep with devastating lines, like “You said when I come on the radio / It makes you want to die / Well, if I shut up / Can I come inside?” from “Sea Lions.”

In her last song before the encore, she brought out the opener, indie rocker duo Tommy Lefroy, to sing “Dream Song,” a track she said she wrote with all of her friends until 6AM. She harmonized beautifully with everyone on stage, and you can tell her appreciation for the band runs deep — it was a serene moment when they sang “You get your dreams for free.” She ended the concert with a cover of AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long,” using an upbeat facet of her voice that normally isn’t brought up in the songs she writes on her own.

Though it was only her second night on the Honey Tour, Samia was confident and full of life on stage, always taking time to thank her audience for coming, incredulous at their positivity and fandom. After performing “Amelia”, which she mentioned was the happiest song she’s written, she said that sometimes it’s alright to write with hope instead of the things she’s scared of. “Hope is the most beautiful and pathetic thing,” she said before carrying on, a message that runs through her current music as clearly as ever.

Words by Sam Franzini


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