The biggest recent news about Sky Ferreira is that Miley Cyrus has selected her and Swedish duo Icona Pop to open Cyrus’s Bangerz tour. An invitation by the biggest name in 2013 pop music—pop culture, in fact—is an auspicious turn of events for a young and inexperienced singer and performer. This is particularly true for Ferreira, who is touring with jangle pop group Smith Westerns and whose own music appeals to indie sensibilities more so than to the dance pop of Cyrus’s recent material. Ferreira’s debut album Night Time, My Time arrived earlier this year to enthusiastic reviews.

Ferreira’s singing career may be in its infancy, but she isn’t a stranger to the limelight: She enjoyed a stint as a model and was also a childhood friend none other than Michael Jackson. But despite her acquaintance with celebrity and attention, Ferreira’s performance at the Paradise on Wednesday was distinctly uneven. Several times during her set, she demonstrated her lack of experience by starting her vocal a beat too early into a verse, or by breaking down in laughter in the middle of a song. Perhaps due partly to her manifestly likable personality, however, her performance remained enjoyable despite her flubs. During a break between songs, Ferreira sheepishly admitted that she was nervous. Much of her behavior was certainly indicative of stage fright; yet her genuinely friendly attitude and report with the audience ensured that most of the crowd remained on her side. Ferreira seemed genuinely grateful for the support, eyeing the people in front of her and saying “Last time I was in Boston, I was playing to a crowd maybe a third this size.”

The set ended abruptly, due to an unspecified technical problem. It looked as though Ferreira and her three-piece band were out of sync, or weren’’t entirely clear what they were supposed to be playing next. None the less, when the audience cheered her back onstage for an encore, she smiled and admitted “I wasn’t expecting this. Really.” No doubt she was being honest.  She then ripped through a robust version of “Heavy Metal Heart” before leaving the stage to shouts of approval.

Ferreira was at her strongest when she belted her vocals in a high key. When her pitch dropped, she fell slightly flat and lost her charisma. But when her voice was on, it was a beautiful thing to hear. Part of the appeal of Feirreira’s music is that it encompasses elements of power pop, with rich catchy melodies and simple song structures  She performed track after memorable track from he debut album, Night Time, My Time including “Omanko,” whose refrain “Oh Japanese Jesus, come on down” is mysterious but interesting,indicative of Ferreira’s left-of-the-mainstream lyricism. “Boys” and “24 hours” are both veritable pop gems, too intimate to fit Top 40 radio but as powerfully hooky as anything Miley Cyrus has released this year.

Ferreira needs to gain more confidence and experience on stage before she takes on the sure-to-be-rabid crowds that will greet Cyrus on every stop of her tour. But her satisfying first album is a hopeful sign for future releases, assuming Ferreira chooses to continue her musical career.

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