German-British singer Alice Merton recently came to Boston and played at Paradise Rock Club in Allston, on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. Merton was doing a short tour to end 2019; as she’s about to release a new album, she wanted to tease some new material she's put out and also play songs from her latest album, Mint +4, which was released this year. She also decided to do this short tour to put a face to her voice, as she’s been played heavily in America, particularly with her single ‘No Roots’. This single turned Merton into a top 100 artist in America, and it went #2 on Germany’s Billboard. After this, she gained a lot of traction and became a judge and coach on The Voice of Germany.
Opening up for her was singer Rafaella, a spunky girl who had a unique vibe, and she danced barefoot on the stage like a ballerina. Her songs were hilarious; some talking about how her chiropractor thinks Nasa is fake and others about how she never feels like she fits in with the basic people who surround her. She had a band to play with, which was very interesting as she was an opening act. Typically, opening acts don’t have much money to work with, so they end up having to sing to a back track or just play the instruments themselves. However, this was a pleasant surprise as the drummer, guitarist, and keyboard player all assisted in the execution of the vibe of the set. There was one point where they asked everyone to help them in naming a new song, giving the crowd a few options before playing it for us. We were able to vote for the title we thought worked best with loud cheers, though it was hard to distinguish which was loudest. They worked really well together, and I have since put Rafaella on my daily Spotify playlist.
After much anticipation, Merton emerged onto the stage in a bright blue outfit and Doc. Martens with Mint +4—a nod to the previously mentioned album—written on them. She was very energetic and excited to see her fans, and it was very obvious how much of a passion she has for music and singing. She sang new songs, old songs and, of course, ended the set with her biggest hit. She sang phenomenally, hitting every high, long note as her band played effortlessly in the back. She spoke about her childhood, how it shaped who she is and how often she moved around as a kid. She talked about fears she had when she was younger, the struggles of losing touch with friends while touring and also her difficulty with letting her guard down to find love. It was an intimate concert with a truthful person and a crowd filled with listening ears who truly cared about and wanted to hear what she had to say.
Those who support her seem to do so fully. The crowd sang along to Merton’s songs, not just her top hit, and they waited out in the cold, rainy, awful Boston weather to see her on a Monday night. A lot of the crowd was in their 30’s and over, as her music is more of an upbeat alternative rather than your usual pop. That’s my favorite style of music, so I was really excited to learn about this artist and felt even happier about it after meeting her for the interview. She was a very kind person, she was very easy to talk to, and just basically made you want to support her because of the obvious passion she has for the industry she’s a part of. The excitement was felt on both ends of the crowd and the performer, and it made for a really great audience to be a part of, which is something I don’t often find at concerts.