Haley Hendrickx Concert review

On Wednesday evening in the CFAC recital hall, the SAO presented Haley Heynderickx as one of its last shows for the semester.

Haley’s opener, Portland musician Lily (band name Sheers), sang with a lilting voice, a harp in one hand and a bass synth in the other. “I want to undo the stereotype that harpists are just these beautiful women wearing white dresses,” said Lily, clad only in black and sporting a short pixie cut. Lily’s songs covered dysfunctional relationships, being too fatalistic and the NBA — the last of which garnered a great deal of laughter from the audience. Throughout, Lily explained how her music nods to classical music, like Claude Debussy’s “Dance of the Sacred.”

Next came the main act, Haley Heynderickx, with only her voice and a guitar. Beginning with a cover, Haley went on to play her entire album, “I Need to Start a Garden.” Haley’s most popular song on this album, based on Spotify numbers, is “Oom Sha La La,” a catchy but poignant song that she performed that night. “I’m throwing out the milk / The olives got old / I’m tired of my mind getting heavy with mold / I need to start a garden!”.

Interspersed between her songs, Haley explained where different songs came from, like “No Face,” inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away,” and “Fish Eyes,” the story of her American father and filipino mother’s first date. Other stories included “This is the story where you spend 45 seconds saying hello to people around you while I tune my guitar.” But most notably, midway through her performance, Hendrickx said, “This is so nice! I wish my college did this,” to which the audience responded with cheering and clapping. Hendricks reacted to the news of Heffner’s departure saying “ it’s sad, and it’s an honour to be one of the last shows [under Heffner’s leadership].”

In the Q&A after the show, Hendrickx talked about her journey from a young girl in a church choir to a crying business major at Portland State University to where she is now. In response to what she would like from her audiences, Hendrickx said “I want contemplation, where people come with open minds and aren’t too jaded — and I feel like you guys have been a very open and kind audience! …As artists, we dive into ourselves in a way where we can create music to share our discoveries and to hopefully help others in their journey.”

In the wake of recent events, many students made efforts to spread the word about the Heynderickx concert and encouraged people to come as a way to honour and support the work of the SAO.