3/2/14 – Paradise Rock Club

Once there was a young girl who had a love for the blues. Her father would sneak her into blues bars, and she would sing even though she was the youngest one there. That girl, ZZ Ward, has come a long way from occasionally singing a few tunes at a bar — now, she’s headlining her own tour, which made a stop at the Paradise Rock Club this month.

ZZ slinked onto stage in her signature wide-brimmed black hat and slouchy black cardigan to the dramatic booming of drums. After this sensational opening, the rest of the show alternated between mellow acoustic songs, high energy bluesy-rock, a cover of Drake’s “Hold On We’re Going Home,”and vague little stories about relationships gone sour. “Unfortunately, I get myself into shitty relationships,” said ZZ, “but at least I write good songs about it.”

“Charlie Ain’t Home” was one such song: ZZ pulled up a stool to the center of the stage for an acoustic version of the track. Although stripped down, the performance retained ZZ’s characteristic sultriness, which was kicked up a notch when the bass and drums joined in for the choruses.

ZZ swapped out her acoustic guitar for a keyboard for another crowd favorite, “365 Days,” and most of the audience sang along. In fact, ZZ had a knack for getting the audience hyped up and was able to keep the energy up right until the encore. She had people snapping along to “Charlie Ain’t Home,” she taught the crowd a rhythm to clap out during “Crying Wolf,” and she even moved the mic stand to the side during “Move Like You Stole It” so that she would have extra room to jump around. Even through all of the dancing, ZZ’s black hat still managed to stay on, shading her eyes all night.

After having her photo taken in front of the entire crowd to later post on Instagram, and after playing two encore songs, ZZ still managed to leave the audience wanting more. Dozens of people lined up at the merch table afterwards, excited to take a little piece of the night home with them. But it wasn’t just T-shirts people bought — many ladies left with a floppy ZZ hat of their own. Black, wide-brimmed, and with a little feather sticking out of the ribbon: what could be a better reminder of a ZZ Ward concert?

Blues is the Coolest Color: ZZ Ward Plays the Paradise
  • Great ability to hype up the crowd
  • The band looked like they were having fun
  • Could have played a less popular cover
7.7Overall Score

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