Spellling at the Songbyrd in D.C. 10/13/22

Spellling 1

Writing and Photography/Videography:  Isaiah Mamo, LIGHTPAINTERR

Opening Night of the Spellling North American Headlining Tour.

Spellling fans gathered around the stage of the Songbyrd for the very first show of Spellling’s October tour. Washington D.C’s very own, AUTOLOLA, opened with his auto-tuned vocals and experimental production, hyping up the crowd in preparation for Spellling.

As the red curtain is drawn, the show begins. Spelling opens with a dance-ey rendition of the vampiric romance ballad, “Always.”

Singer, songwriter, and producer, Tia Cabral of Spellling, with her 6-person ensemble, takes to the stage of The Songbyrd in D.C. She brings her colorful world of sounds from Oakland, California. The opening show was a glorious set of theatrical performances of Spellling’s latest LP, “The Turning Wheel.”

“This track ALWAYS gets me. I remember the first time I heard it, driving around my hometown. It made me feel like a highschooler in the 80s, playing a cassette while driving into the sunset, contemplating my love life– or rather– what love is…” 

– Isaiah Mamo

On the title track, “Turning Wheel,” Spellling fantasizes about a realm of peace, gentleness, and ecstasy. The film accompanying the song features Spellling and friends playing instruments, dancing, doing tarot readings, smoking, laughing, and enjoying one-another’s company–the true embodiment of stopping and smelling the roses. 

“Turning Wheel makes me think about how we can bring little pieces of ideal society into our day-to-day life. Community, I think, is the most instrumental part of this. It is your friends, fellow artists, neighbors, the people that support you when you’re down, and those who are there to rejoice with you. 

Holding a community with your people, pouring into them while they pour into you–synchronously, just like in the ‘Turning Wheel’ video. The live show was a manifestation of community as well. It was a moment for everyone to stop and smell the roses, to just have a good time with fellow Spellling listeners.”

-Isaiah Mamo

The energy in the venue was transcendent. It was very clear that the band was ecstatic about the music they were playing, and that feeling was reflected by the audience as they sang along.

During the bridge of the song “Under the Sun” from Spellling’s sophomore album, “Mazy Fly”, blue, green, and pink lights flooded the stage as Spellling sang the lyrics “silver flashes, a new star.”

The bridge of “Real Fun,” a song from “Mazy Fly” about alien’s arrival on earth and discovery of music, we hear Spellling’s back up vocalists yell indecipherable “yeah!”s into the microphones, leading into a bombastic instrumental breakdown on the drums. This was a prime example of the attention to detail in the brilliant adaptation of Spellling’s music for a live setting.

The crowd was particularly enchanted by the song “Boys at School.” It was as though years of angst was let out in a cathartic release of energy and emotion as everyone yelled “I hate the boys at school!”

The song, “Emperor with an Egg,” begins with a synthesized melody that Spellling and the band recreated live.

Spellling & the ensemble post show.

Thank you to Spellling for a night of electric guitar solos, explosive percussion, enchanting vocals, shimmering synths,and magical melodies!

Give The Turning Wheel a spin!