CENTRAL BAR - AUGUST 12TH, BY KIRA JONES
There was a warmth of familiarity as I entered Central on King Street last Saturday night. Despite the size of the venue, it was overflowing with the kind of intimacy that only comes with empathy and shared stories. The tables were full and yet, it was like we all knew each other, somehow. As though Cecilia connected us. And as it turned out, she really did.
Cecilia entered the stage wearing an impressive, “I’m-a-fucking-lady” kind of tutu, but despite her overt and confident exterior, she was clearly overwhelmed by what this moment represented. Her debut album Liberty is, after all, the story of her demise, her homecoming and her ongoing battle with mental health. After an initial, endearingly genuine and highly-vulnerable pause, she began to expose her story to us. And it was a privilege.
Support from the crowd was palpable. As was her voice; unapologetic, softly brutal and inherently feminine. N.Y.P.D Blues served as an exposition, prefaced by, “this is a song about when I walked around New York barefoot in a complete psychosis”. When Cecilia shared these words in such a public manner, I instinctively drew in a deep, sharp breath and all I could focus on was the feathers in her hair and the glitter on her face. We all paint on our faces (some thicker than others) but not all of us are so honest with ourselves or with each other.
Every song was introduced by another insight into Cecilia’s deeply personal narrative. Beautiful Chaotic brought a climax to the show; a silenced and wide-eyed audience (some eyes dryer than others) were entranced by both her story and her voice. And when it was all over, the stage became a platform of shared experiences and empathy. And it was then that my initial gut instinct about this show manifested into truth – Cecilia really did connect us all.