Amy Shark gut-punches El Rey Theatre with emotions, laughter

Amy Shark El Rey 2018 TA mainbar

It always seems to be the ones with the darker song material know how to get the biggest laughs. That’s the case with Aussie pop singer Amy Shark, who blessed the El Rey on Tuesday night.

In between deep and heavy songs, Amy Shark had the crowd laughing at her banter. From talking about telling her then-boyfriend’s mom to basically fuck off, to teasing a move to LA, she had the crowd in the palm of her hand. The El Rey show was her biggest headlining gig in LA, coming just a couple months after the release of her debut full-length album Love Monster.

If Amy Shark doesn’t book a sponsorship deal with Adidas soon, it’s a mistake by the apparel company. Every time I’ve seen her she’s rocking their gear.

Her music sounds so reminiscent of the pop rock of the late ’90s and early ’00s. I hear that song “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” and “Wherever You Will Go” in some of the guitar melodies. The song “Psycho” that features Mark Hoppus of blink-182 sounds like it could be one of that band’s more mellow tunes. It’s those influences  that probably connected me to her music in the first place.

Amy Shark certainly has stage presence. She delivers the hooks of her songs with such a fire. Her sound has me believing that she’ll be a regular favorite of alt-rock radio for many years to come. Her music stands out amongst the acts that currently get consistent radio play.

Just as I was thinking how much she sounds like many of the bands I grew up on, she nailed the point home. She dusted off a cover of the Wheatus track “Teenage Dirtbag”. I later discovered she recorded a Spotify Singles cover of the song. That’s been in regular rotation for me since her show Tuesday.

She followed it up with “Weekends”, the song that first drew me in. It’s got that powerful gut-wrenching vibe. I’d be shocked if it hasn’t been used in a big moment in a teen comedy. “I Said Hi” and “Adore” got equal sing-alongs from the excitable crowd.

She’s spent the last 12-to-18 months conquering music festivals across the globe, and it’s translated into a cult following. Find out why that is next time she comes around your town!

Words by Mark Ortega
Photos by Tim Aarons