My Brightest Diamond
May 13, 2019 at Cafe 939
As the lights dimmed and the attention in the venue turned towards the stage, Shara Nova emerged and danced her way through the crowd from the back of the room. Shara Nova, or My Brightest Diamond, sang her way to the stage, connecting with everyone in the audience along the way. Nova’s intentional effort to connect to each audience member remained a constant part of her performance – allowing her to directly connect concertgoers to the heart of her music and celebrate what it means to be human.
My Brightest Diamond, Nova’s musical persona, immediately captivated the audience with her boxing attire and crazy, electric red hair. Her presence in the crowd and on stage combined with her music blend of rock, psychedelic and art pop created her rock-star angelic presence. While the drum beats were distinct and prevalent in all of her songs, the highlight of the performance was Nova’s control of her vocals. As a result of her classical vocal training when she was a child, her clarity and range were like no other.
Throughout her performance, My Brightest Diamond made constant efforts to connect with her audience on an emotional level.
She led an audience-wide dance that mimicked the rowing of a boat over an ocean with ever-changing tides – alluding to the ups and downs of life. She dedicated “You Wanna See My Teeth” to the late Trayvon Martin, which left some audience members somberly crying. She dedicated “Dorian”to everyone that has loved someone but was never able to fulfill that love for a multitude of reasons – a classic, inopportune love. This left audience members swaying passionately, holding a hand to their heart in reflection. She finally dedicated “I Have Never Loved Someone”to her son, Constantine, which was the most beautiful and delicate song of the evening. After the final note was sung, the venue was as quiet as the dawn.
Nova explained the origin of each song to the audience, stating that she wanted to make the concert experience as personal as possible and wanted to make her musical creation process as transparent as possible. She pointed out that everyone present that Monday night had experienced the same intense emotions over the course of their separate lives but had many different ways of getting there. Nova then highlighted that this is what makes us all connected and hence human.
As evident from the audience’s reactions, My Brightest Diamond’s music makes people feel things that perhaps they have not been wanting to feel for a while. Although scary, this is a powerful thing. My Brightest Diamond gently exposed the audience’s humanness and rejoiced in this connection. For a Monday night, My Brightest Diamond at Café 939 was an emotional, intimate yet pleasant celebration of life.