Live Review: Betty Who at The Space, Hamden, Conn.

Betty Who

I’m not the best photographer. #alcohol

When Betty Who is standing in front of you, she looks like a doll. A really tall, 6’1″ doll.  Her blonde bob (short on the sides, longer and fluffy on top) bounces along with her as she shimmies her way across the stage. Her creamy white skin and soothing voice, just as dreamy as the anthemic music she creates.

Betty Who is America’s Next Top Pop Star; America just doesn’t know it yet.

At last Friday’s show at The Space, in Hamden, Conn., Betty put on a performance full of pop bliss and whimsy. Her 80’s-inspired tunes, championed by the catchy, feel-good single “Somebody Loves You,” are a breath of fresh air from the other mainstream fiddle-faddle currently circulating airwaves. Sure, she may sound like Katy Perry, but her approach is newer, fresher, better. And she’s a songwriter and a musician – a classically trained cellist and self-taught guitarist/keyboardist – bonus!

The Australian 22-year-old prances around the stage with youthful abandon, every inch of her frame towering over the crowd in the teeny-tiny venue. She oozes with positive energy with a sugary sweet voice that got the crowd swaying and dancing almost immediately.

Part guilty pleasure and part heartbreaker, what struck this reviewer was Betty’s unabashed sincerity. Her between song banter, and cutesy winks and smiles to the crowd were 100 percent genuine and the audience felt that throughout the hour-plus long set. She pulled two fans on stage who made their very own Betty Who t-shirts, promoting her upcoming album that’s being released next week. She knelt down on the stage and gave a short fan in the front row a huge hug, and proceeded to sing to her. A rarity in music these days, Betty cares – and not just about whether or not we had an OK time at the show – but she cared about her fans as much as they cared about her. It was pretty damn adorable…and admirable.

The set started with The Movement EP’s “High Society,” the most 80’s of the bunch – a track recounting daydreams of living like royalty. It was a highlight right out of the gate. Lots of new songs off the upcoming “Take Me When You Go” were played and all of them were strong, including “Dreaming About You,” “Better,” and “Glory Days.” As promised, she segued back into tracks everyone’s been streaming for months and years. “Heartbreak Dream,” “You’re In Love,” and “Runaways” kept the crowd moving, before closing the night out with the former-viral hit “Somebody Loves You.”

Pop music often gets a lot of flack in the music scene – especially when it’s corporately manufactured, payola radio bullshit – but Betty is a different breed. This Australian songwriter has staked claim in her own songwriting and creative direction. Her energy and attitude are infectious, authentic, and straight up fun as hell. Catch her live at a small club now before you’re scrambling for arena tickets later.