Photos by Matthew Solarski

Indomitable Kate Tempest demolished Rough Trade NYC Wednesday night, wrapping up a triumphant run of U.S. dates that also included shows in Los Angeles and at SXSW.  The Ted Hughes Award-winning poet and Mercury Prize-nominated rapper made her appreciation for the sold-out crowd known, working words of wisdom and inspiration in between choice cuts from last year’s massive Everybody Down, including “The Beigeness,” “Circles,” and “The Heist.”  Authenticity is a murky concept, but even so, it’s safe to say few are keeping it realer than Kate in 2015.

Opener Tkay Maidza warmed the place up with big smiles and rapid-fire rhymes, while local shoegazers Lightning Bug — rather oddly slotted between two hip-hop acts — provided a cool interlude heavy on the atmosphere, complete with a cover of Slowdive’s “Machine Gun.”

Tkay Maidza

Lightning Bug

Kate Tempest

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