Chrysta Bell is one of those women with the power to silence a room the minute she walks in. The Helen of Troy of the 21st century, a woman wars are fought over. But in spite of her luminous presence, Chrysta turned out to be extremely humble. The charismatic singer, model and actress who rose to stardom with a role in the latest “Twin Peaks” season showed us the other side of her creativity, her world of dream pop that put the audience at KC Grad as into a trance, and we can thank Paralel Festival for that.
Even though the start of her performance was significantly delayed, the audience still had their spirits up. The front of the stage was packed with guys and girls looking to confirm whether the singer is as beautiful live as she is in pictures. Their uncomfortable stares and loose jaws painted the answer to that question.
Chrysta took us on a backseat ride through her opus that includes an album and an EP she recorded together with David Lynch, as well as her latest offering in “We Dissolve”. It was this album, produced by acclaimed John Parish (PJ Harvey), was the one that caught my attention and the reason I was so eager to hear how that material translates live.
Backed by an extremely skillful band of musicians, the result exceeded all my expectations. The fact that the sound at the venue was impeccable only solidified that. There were some comments on the packed venue in the audience, but if the price of a good sound is having to endure a bit of crowd I’d gladly pay it anytime. The venue turned out adequate, and it’s encouraging to see that the interest was high enough to fill an even bigger venue than this one. Apart from the new material, Chrysta introduced us to songs off of her debut “This Train” she recorded together with Lynch. The electro sound of this album gloriously translates into a live setting backed by “real” instruments.
The atmospheric tone of the music was further enchanted by Chrysta’s magical performance. With a demeanor of a true, vintage Hollywood femme fatale we only got the chance to see in classic movies, the singer does indeed convince you her songs come from real experience. Chrysta showed off her guitar playing skills for a couple of songs. Proving she’s more than a pretty face and an angelic voice, she jammed along with the band to a couple of tunes. The dancing, enchanting music and the ethereal atmosphere echoed deep into the night. After her performance, Chrysta was more than eager to meet her fans and take pictures with those persistent enough to wait for her to freshen up.
Time flies when you’re in good company and listening to good music. Her performance was mesmerizing and convincing both musically and visually, and was definitely one of the best ones of this type I’ve seen all year. If you’re looking for relaxing daydreaming soundtrack give “We Dissolve” a shot. And I should probably finally catch up to “Twin Peaks”.