On the eve of International Women’s Day, four-piece band Wet brought their all-female fronted tour lineup to Velvet Underground in Toronto. With Hana Vu and Kilo Kish kicking off the night, the crowd was met with both subtlety and high performative energy right away. Throughout both opening sets, the crowd set the bar high for attentiveness and respect which seems to be an amazing overarching achievement at shows these days.
Wet is maybe most known for their vulnerable lyrics. Right off the bat, lead singer Kelly Zutrau voiced her desire to be more honest on stage, and that resonates with many people in music right now. Social media and music streaming platforms have developed a space for music to exist outside of any strict confines. The beginning of many touring bands today has in some way been brought to fruition from these sources, giving the entire world potential access to music many artists never had the intention of pursuing a career in professionally.
In Wet’s case, when Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl began gaining traction, it occurred to them, especially Kelly who wrote the track in her bedroom, that this whole “band thing” might actually be possible. Without an audience, she was able to write songs without judgment, relaying back to honesty. This process of songwriting is extremely common, however, what isn’t is staying true to that live. When other artists may add a performative measure on stage to a song that deserves to remain stripped down, the members of Wet know what their songs need.
Shrouded in a sea of fog, there was a mood in the room from the beginning. Even though many of Wet’s songs can put you into an emotional state very quickly, the band members didn’t fail to crack jokes between tracks, breaking down the barrier between a musician on stage and a fan in the crowd. It is quite evident that they appreciate just being in a position where they can play their music to a couple of hundred strangers and for it to mean something to somebody. Everything that Kelly sings about becomes more of a relatable and shared experience as she turns some of the hardest, most confusing parts of her life into something so soothing and beautiful.
Through it all, you can’t help but be incredibly moved by the gracefulness on stage. There’s a catharsis from sharing the heartbreak and uncertainty that we all go through in life. This show was a perfect example that you don’t have to tour with a large stage production. You don’t need to have all the gear in the world to hold people’s attention. Simple is nice, and for Wet, simple is all they need.
Words and photos by Morgan Hotston