SIERRA FERRELL: NYE CIRCUS SPECTACULAR AT BROOKLYN BOWL NASHVILLE
by Shana Leigh @shanaleighphoto
There was only one place to be on New Year’s Eve in Nashville, TN and that was the Brooklyn Bowl hosting the incredible Sierra Ferrell’s SOLD OUT Circus Spectacular. The Resonant Rogues kicked off the evening of absolute magic and entertainment. Their haunting sounds of Appalachian folk set the stage for a mysterious evening full of wonder and curiosity.
Sierra graced the stage with a high energy performance of dance and circus magic alongside Clay Mazing, the Ring Leader for the evening. Clay mastered the art of whipping roses from the teeth of the “honkytonk angel” as they danced in circles around the stage together one trick after another. And the energy didn’t stop there. From one song to the next, imagine a circus performer flying on a saddle in the air, sword swallowing, and acrobatics meet Sierra’s troupe of nomadic musicians. A merging of eclectic folk with tantalizing visual stimulation throughout the entire evening. It was the perfect recipe of performance delight.
As much as our eyes had to see and witness, it only enhanced Sierra’s already naturally dynamic stage presence. Sierra captivated the audience in her intricately designed, rhinestone body suit with white feathers courtesy of Sarie Gessner. Sierra also doned a gorgeous blue suit with rhinestones and bright, tattoo-esque details designed by Manuel, Nashville’s “Tailor to the Stars”. She was in wardrobe gold.
It was everything you hoped it would be as Sierra transported her audience out of time and space into her enchanting world where anything is possible.
Of all the amazing performers that took the stage that night it was Sierra’s powerful, show stopping vocals that truly captivated the audience. It was like watching the soundtrack of a movie with the soundtrack as the main event. Sierra floated through the air on a rainbow hoop above the stage as she sang “At the End of the Rainbow.” Tanya Pioneer swung through the air on a saddle while Sierra sang “Made Like That.” An aerialist, held up by her hair, swam through the air like a mermaid surrounded by bubbles during “The Sea.” It was what dreams are made of when you are in the state of half dreaming, half awake. Like a drug induced circus utopia.
The evening was a glimpse into Ferrell’s vagabond nature and was a clear indication that her freight-train boxcar is on track to turn straight bullet train burning up these tracks. Sierra has already picked up steam in the world of eclectic bluegrass and what seems most intriguing is how her old soul feels oddly familiar, while otherworldly and brand new. Or maybe some remodel of another time where we’ve been before and are grateful to reunite with in this brand new way. She’s gritty and raw but ultimately ethereal as the sound of her voice strikes some heart chord within us. This messy angelic presence, that maybe we all can personally relate to in this imperfect world.
She’s not afraid to totally be herself. We get to see the weird and messy and we also get to feel the raw vulnerability at the heart of her words. She slowed down the evening at one point to share her new song “American Dreaming” that she co-wrote with Nashville songwriter Melody Walker. Sierra took out her journal where she read the words to the new song as she sang, so she “wouldn’t forget the lyrics.” It was a pure, raw moment watching an artist so open to vulnerability on stage like that. And then calling out and giving credit to her co-write Walker, who was enjoying the show from the second-floor balcony. The song itself brought me to tears as I felt the longing and sadness in the words of sacrifice in the pursuit of dreams.
I’ve been American dreaming, I’m just American dreaming,
I’m American dreaming, but I never seem to get no rest
Well I should get some rest today
then pack my bags be on my way
But my minds always working on
the way it could have been
I’m trying to toe a tightrope line
Find a way to feel half fine
Without drowning in this wine
And calling you again
It was an unforgettable night for everyone fortunate enough to attend the sold out show. The countdown to 2023 happened, and confetti and balloons rained through the crowd. We celebrated, yes, but the truth is, we were all in some other era anyway. Time wasn’t a tangible thing that night, or any night really. It was another hour, another day, another year forward with a reminder that there is always so much wonder to behold. It was a perfect transition into a year of magic and dreams for each of us setting sail into all of the beautiful possibility that graces us into 2023. A Happy New Year with Sierra Ferrell indeed.
Enjoy our previous coverage here: REVIEW: Sierra Ferrell “Long Time Coming”
The Resonant Rogues @resonantrogues
With Drayton Aldridge on fiddle – @draytonmakesmusic
Jukebox Mama, Sarie Gessner: @jukebox.mama
Manuel Cuevas: @manuelcouture
Musician: Aaron Goodrich, @classicaaron
Melody Walker: @melodywritessongs
Sword Swallower: @wendyblades_enterprise
Acrobat/Circus Artist: @leileinoone