Reverb Fest: Kelli Schaefer

Nikki Benson / October 11, 2011
Photo by: Nikki Benson

Kelli Schaefer played Reverb Fest at 9pm at the Tractor Tavern, and for those who knew about her, she was the most anticipated act of the day. As soon as she came onstage for her soundcheck, it was clear why.

Kelli Schaefer has one of those clear, stark voices that call people to attention. In a room that is notoriously loud with echoing chatter, it was beautiful to see people from the front to the back standing and staring at the noises coming out of this woman’s mouth. Her lyrics were very heartfelt, emotionally raw, and dark. Instead of the sappy, lovey dovey songs, she sang about how things would end badly, “and that’s okay.” Realism for the jaded can be surprisingly refreshing.

Her voice sounded like a cool mix of Ani Difranco and Zola Jesus with a heavy dose of punk-rock. SSG Music hasn’t made a thorough investigation of this songstress yet, but I for one am very interested. Thanks to Reverb Fest for introducing us to yet another great local artist.


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