Holly Humberstone Heard in Boston: A Concert Review

Words by Taylor Fruzzetti

Holly Humberstone made her mark on Boston opening for Girl In Red at Paradise Rock Club this past Friday. Boston was just one stop on Humberstone’s first-ever US tour; the Grantham, England native broke into the indie rock scene with her debut single “Deep End” in 2020. Her unique dreamy melancholic sound has rewarded her with the BRIT Award for Rising Star earlier this year.

Courtesy of Madi Suitor

Lines of excited college students wrapped around the venue and trickled down Commonwealth Ave in anticipation. Once inside the venue, the crowd broke out into an energetic chant exclaiming “Let’s go lesbians, let’s go!” A sea of pride flags decorated the passionate crowd as they patiently waited for Humberstone to take the stage.

Humberstone took on the stage in her signature trendy look– baggy pants, platform sneakers, an electric guitar slung around her shoulder, and long curly hair adorned with two small braids. She began her set with a rendition of “Overkill”– a relatable tune about struggling to confess romantic feelings. Despite the vulnerable lyrics, Humberstone captivated the sold-out club with her ethereal overlapping melodies.

Courtesy of Madi Suitor.

Humberstone showcased her musical talents with her second song “Please Don’t Leave Just Yet” as she masterfully utilized multiple keyboards, an electronic beat machine, and voice distorting microphones for her distinct sound. The crowd was extremely receptive of Humberstone’s one-woman show as they cheered her on. 

Perhaps encouraged by the crowd’s positive response, Humberstone performed an unreleased track deemed “Sleep Tight.” The sultry song only sparked a surge of energy throughout the venue.

“I wasn’t expecting this,” Humberstone humbly addressed the crowd after their roar of acceptance. 

Courtesy of Madi Suitor.

Despite being taken a back from the audience’s appreciation, Humberstone confidently transitioned into the heartfelt “Deep End.” During which, she confided in the crowd that the song was written out of love for her sister, who she claimed to be a bit “awkward.” After which, she smirked and confessed that she felt awkward herself. 

Nonetheless, Humberstone’s shyness did not condem her from commanding the stage with her latest hit “London is Lonely.” Now her top-streamed song on Spotify, the song articulates the uncanny feeling of being alone in a crowded city. Its clear that Humberstone’s honest lyrics and divine vocals have reached the hearts and ears of many.

Humberstone got the crowd moving with her song “Scarlett” which somber lyrics blended beautifully with upbeat melody. A halo of red and purple light formed behind the musician creating an angelic effect for the performance.

Courtesy of Madi Suitor.

“Falling Asleep at the Wheel” proved to be a crowd-pleaser as audience members felt inclined to sang along to the chorus. The club lit up as concert-goers turned on their phone flashlights in comradery.The same heightened energy flowed as Humberstone began another fan favorite, “The Walls Are Way Too Thin,” during which she included an alternative acoustic ending.

Humberstone treated Boston well as she ended her set with a secret unreleased demo and prompted her fans to direct message her on Instagram for the recording.

It’s clear that Holly Humberstone has captured Boston’s attention and left us wanting more. According to fan Jamison O’Sullivan, “ I was so excited to hear some of her unreleased stuff, I can’t wait  for her to come back and I hope she does a headline soon,” said O’Sullivan ‘22. 

Holly Humberstone is set to return to Boston this coming May as the opening act for Olivia Rodrigo.