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Gracie Abrams @ Manchester Academy – a rising star with electrifying talent 

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Gracie Abrams by Abby Waisler

Featured image: Abby Waisler


American singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams brought the Good Riddance tour to Manchester Academy on Wednesday night. One of the most compelling songwriters of our generation, she’s touring following the release of her long-awaited debut album, Good Riddance.

Selling out the 2,600 capacity venue, the crowd full of mainly young girls eagerly awaited Gracie’s arrival. As the lights went down and the lamps that decorated the stage delicately glowed, the crowd erupted with energy.

Gracie appeared gracing the stage wearing a floating white dress, a magical presence was created as she opened with ‘Where do we go now?’, the first single released from Good Riddance.

Co-written and produced by Aaron Dessner (The National), Gracie enchanted the crowd singing about a fractured relationship as the crowd overwhelmingly sings loudly back to her, one of the loudest crowds ever heard as they lost their minds in the song. It was evident that fans in the room had a strong love and were loyal to Abrams, as many members of the crowd adorned ribbon bows in their hair, a trend amongst Gracie fans.

Next came ‘This is what the drugs are for’, a haunting track that sings about the emotions that come with a past relationship, and a fan-favourite from the debut album. Gracie effortlessly appeared to sing a range of tracks old and new with ’21’ being sung back by the crowd the loudest. Standing in the crowd and scanning the room, it’s easy to see these songs resonate deeply with the fans.

‘I should hate you’ and ‘I know it won’t work’ breaks everyone’s hearts in the room, holding the crowd in suspense as Gracie’s powerful vocals echo throughout the venue. The energy and enthusiasm among the crowd was unmatched, almost giving a performance in themselves.

The production of the set could be likened to someone who had been performing for over a decade. The performance was well thought out as even in the transitions between songs the band created a dream-like atmosphere with their instrumentals, making the set feel more like a movie. Gracie is clearly a rising star with her electrifying talent and dedicated fan-based.

Gracie’s emotional delivery of ‘Amelie’, performed especially for a fan whose name was also that of the track saw the crowd with tear streaked cheeks who were mesmerised with every word. The mashup of ‘Rockland’ and ‘Will You Cry?’ was stunning to witness live and felt special as if written just to be performed that way, giving the songs a whole new life.

‘Best’ and ‘Feels Like’ created touching moments, with poignant lyrics that couldn’t describe feelings more opposite to each other, hearing them performed live back to back felt like an emotional rollercoaster.

An unreleased track ‘Abby’ had been added to the setlist dedicated to a good friend in the crowd, giving everyone goosebumps as it is performed so beautifully. ‘I miss you, I’m sorry’ from Gracie’s EP minor and ‘Right Now’ was a strong way to end the set as these were clearly crowd favourites.

Gracie Abrams is only going to keep on getting bigger and selling out larger capacity venues, for everyone in the room, witnessing her live in this venue will be something they will look back on in awe as she will continue to rise with her incredible talent.

Hearing her tracks live was something special as Gracie performed, pouring her emotions out on stage with the same vulnerability that would’ve gone into writing them. We look forward to seeing where Gracie will go now, and will be cheering her on, looking forward to when she next returns to Manchester.

Gracie Abrams debut album Good Riddance is American singer-songwriter.

About the author / 

Georgina Hurdsfield

Masters student in Psychological Wellbeing in Clinical Practice at Manchester Metropolitan University. Keen photographer and music enthusiast.

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