As the crowd waited patiently for The Staves to take to the stage, there was definitely an air of excitement in the venue, the kind of excitement that comes from knowing a real talent is about to be experienced. The amazing Gabriel Rios had already wowed the audience with his effortless performance and now all to be done was wait enthusiastically for the three-piece band of sister from Watford to take the stage. When they casually strolled onto the stage with glasses of red wine in tow, they wasted no time in demonstrating why they are so celebrated for their unique talent. The three sisters displayed their truly captivating ability to sing in perfect harmony with each other and how even though they each have a voice of complete individuality, they can effortlessly weave their voices together in such a way that silences a room. The A Cappella element to their first song was utterly breath-taking and left no doubt in anyone’s mind just how talented these girls are. As they smoothly ran into their next song, ‘Black and White’, they showed their versatility at being able to change between soft individual performances and strong fusion of all three in the chorus, with punching impact, backed up by the guitar.
The Staves undoubtedly give a lot to each performance. Songs such as ‘Winter Trees’ and ‘Make it Holy’ were definite stand out performances – they showed the girls ability to build up a song, the gradual layering of different instruments. Song progressions highlight a certain uniqueness to their music, they don’t hide behind overpowering instruments but instead place their vocal ability at the forefront. In the song ‘Mexico’ the rise and fall gave a certain dynamic and variety to the performance.
While this was only the second night of their tour for their new album If I Was, they were not apprehensive in demonstrating their full range. The violinist was truly impressive and provided a stable backbone for the girls’ harmonious performances. The almost angelic fusing of their voices was mesmerising, as the crowd stood in silence to simply listen. They also had great range in their set list moving from old and new songs, from a cover to a song so new they admitted they had not even given a name to it yet. While they might be criticised for being too tame or safe, it can’t be denied that these girls effervesce talent and love for a type of music that is getting more attention than ever before. The Staves’ folksy edge, with acoustic elements, and flawless harmonies come together to create a stunning spectacle. As they moved to the end of their set (and after giving in to the unanimous cry for an encore from the crowd) we saw a slightly different edge to the band with their song ‘Teeth White’. The more upbeat rhythm really got the crowd going as everyone was singing along to the catchy lyrics and showed that these girls can appeal to the masses. As a relatively new band, it seems their success will only grow and the awareness for this band will grow as their raw talent is the type that deserves recognition. The ease with which you can listen to their songs gives a level of comfort and familiarity. That is rare.