Review: Nai Palm at U Street Music Hall

Nai Palm is the epitome of cool. Her attitude oozes confidence, her speaking voice is perfectly raspy, she knows her shit and isn't afraid to show it, and she can command even the most obnoxious crowd into silence with her incredible vocal range and electric guitar skills. This is what I learned on a Thursday evening at U Street Music Hall.


The crowd was especially raucous as Nai Palm took the stage with her electric guitar at U Street Music Hall. As she began her set she almost immediately stopped to announce "I need a sound engineer on stage to hear how fucked up this sounds!" To the untrained ears in the audience, seemingly no sound issues could be detected; she sounded as good as ever. As the sound engineers attempted to fix the issues, she continued singing though irritated at how poor the sound quality was. To make light of the situation,  she cracked somewhat passive aggressive jokes and said to the sound engineers, "come on, I believe in you!"

Sound issues and a slightly obnoxious crowd aside, Nai Palm prevailed. "Her range is insane!" the person next to me said me said to her friend, marveling at the power of Nai Palm's vocals as she crooned.  Her set included a mixture of Hiatus Kaiyote tracks (some of which also appear on her debut solo record) and new songs from her debut solo record, Needle Paw which came out last Friday. My favorite moment was when she played "Have You Ever Been (To Electric Ladyland)" a stunning track off of her new album. She introduced the song to the crowd saying "I recently found out Jimi Hendrix played a lot of shows with horrible sound.. at the end of the day you have to be able to cut through it" which is exactly what she did. 

All photos by Krystina Gabrielle for Capitol Sound DC.

Follow Nai Palm at the links below.