November 8th, I made my way to The Bottleneck to attend Charlie Burg's Infinitely Tall tour. I have been a casual listener of Burg and had not yet listened through his newest album he had released this year. His hits, Bookstore Girl, Lancaster Nights, and I Don't Wanna Be Okay Without You were enough to prompt me to purchase a ticket. As I was beginning to foster excitement for this concert, I saw that Genevieve Stokes was the opening act. Then, I was ecstatic.
Genevieve Stokes, a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Portland, ME. Her unique alt-pop sound is influenced by iconic musicians like Cat Power and Regina Spektor. She has spoke about how her recent music is “inspired by fairytales and by revisiting childhood.”
Hearing her open solidifies this magical influence. She began her set by playing Surface Tension, from her 2021 Album Swimming Lessons. As she played through her hits, I was entranced by her haunting vocals and vivid story-telling. Rich harmonies and unique lyrics allowed for the audience to quickly fall in love with her sound. Not only is she a talented vocalist and storyteller, she also is a gifted pianist. This well-rounded musical ability made for a strong opening act.
Many people are excited for the opening act to conclude their set - I think it is safe for me to assume that the crowd was not read for Stokes to exit. When they began clear the stage, prepping it for Charlie Burg, the crowd was hoping that she would make a reappearance.
About a half hour later, Charlie Burg rushed on stage and began his set. He had high energy paired, strong stage presence, and a crazy talent for piano, guitar, and vocal control. He worked his way through his top hits with his band. Halfway through his set, he broke for an acoustic portion of the concert. Here he engaged with the audience, taking requests for songs. This is were he played Bookstore Girl (the first song I had ever heard from him). After this, he invited Genevieve back on stage to sing an acoustic version of Motion Sickness by Phoebe Bridgers. This is where both Genevieve and Charlie felt human.
Through the entire cover, they had lyric blunders and laughs. As a listener, it felt authentic and in the moment. The audience laughed with them, enjoying the fun we were all having. The bond between the two, one that grew throughout their tour, was a joy to witness.
After the concert, Charlie Burg sat at his merch table talking to those of us who attended. This is when I got the chance to take a quick photo with him and talk about how much I enjoyed the concert. He was incredibly thankful and thanked my friend and I for making the drive to Lawrence. Charlie then mentioned to us that the electric guitar he played for the show, he had just bought that day at Richard's Music Co. He said that it is a guitar made in Japan in the 60s, and is now his go-to for shows.
As I made my way back to my vehicle, I bumped into Genevieve and her band as they made their way back to the venue. I was able to talk with her for a few short moments, grab a picture, and thank her for a great time. She was incredibly kind to both me and the friend I attended with.
Overall, this concert was a wonderful time. The crowd was uplifting and energetic and the acts were even better. For an impromptu Tuesday night concert, I walked away impressed with the performance. I will be looking out for future tour dates for them both.