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<p class="text-align-right">Samia 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography</p>
Samia 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography

Concert Review: Samia at Variety Playhouse

March 10th, 2023 | Atlanta, GA

Rising indie star Samia lands in Atlanta for what might just be one of the best shows of the year.


Samia 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography

Fresh off the release of her sophomore album, Honey, Samia is looking to capitalize off her critical acclaim and grow her fiercely loyal following. This was Samia's first stop in Atlanta in over a year, with the past few months seening her tour with Lucy Dacus, Wallows, and Sylvan Esso.


Tommy Lefroy 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography

Canadian indie-pop duo Tommy Lefroy tagged along to open up the show. Their EP, Rivals, released the same day and, based on the crowd's reaction, was warmly welcomed. The duo's light and airy blend of guitars and harmonies pieced together an incredibly moving set, with their lyricism on full display and ready for the gut-punch. The band debuted a handful of tunes, including "The Mess". This track took full advantage of the two's harmonies and even featured Samia (a favor Tommy Lefroy would return later in the night). This was an excellent opening set, and if their live performance is any indication of their recording's quality, I'm sure Rivals is a project worth checking out.


Samia 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography

This show was breathe-taking. I mean this in a literal sense, Samia's songs often have a way of knocking the air out of your lungs. Focused around ballad-drive indie pop, Samia crafts intricate soundscapes that she uses as a base for her deeply personal and profoundly self-reflective lyricism. Do not let the ballad description fool you however, Samia is a fully energized performer, moving, dancing, and twirling her way across the stage with grace. 


Samia 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography

Samia began with the intro track to Honey, "Kill Her Freak Out", a synth filled jangly ballad exposing Samia's rawest elements. Despite the dismal message of the song, fans yelled along to every word. The song was also accented by deep bass, adding a nice groove to the track, helping further the divide between the sound and subject of the track. This was a common tactic of Samia and her band— with many of her songs feeling glossy and energetic while hiding a much more somber story.


Samia 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography

Arguably the best moment of the night was during "Breathing Song", an absolutely decimating, anxiety-inducing slow burn of a song. Samia prefaced this track with a warning of sorts— advising listeners who may not be emotionally prepared to leave the room momentarily. This is a threat that should not be taken lightly, as Samia's haunting yells and repetition of the word "no" created a bone-chilling atmosphere that shakes you to your core. This was Samia at her best. We see all of Samia's best traits on display; her incredible vocal abilities, heavy hitting instrumentation, and her ravenous desire for performance.


Samia 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography

This show felt like it flew by. It wasn't a short set by any means, but when an artist plays track after track that both you and the audience know by heart, it seems time quickly fades away. A few more notable songs from the setlist were "Sea Lions", another deeply tragic tune, "Mad At Me", easily the most upbeat and danceable song of the night, and "Dream Song", a mellow ending to the main set featuring Tommy Lefroy.

          1. Kill Her Freak Out
          2. Fit N Full
          3. Charm You
          4. Big Wheel
          5. Pink Balloon
          6. Pool
          7. Sea Lions
          8. Mad At Me
          9. Stellate
          10. Triptych
          11. Breathing Song
          12. Honey
          13. Winnebago
          14. Amelia
          15. Is There Something in the Movies?
          16. Dream Song (ft. Tommy Lefroy)
          17. Show Up


Samia 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography

Samia is closing out the first leg of her tour tonight in Nashville. She'll pick things back up in Charleston, SC in a month, dotting the southeast, east coast, and a handful of the northern United States. Samia's full list of upcoming shows can be found below.

          3/11 Nashville, TN — Brooklyn Bowl^*
          4/13 Charleston, SC — Music Farm*
          4/14 Birmingham, AL — Saturn~
          4/17 Charlotte, NC — Visulite Theatre~
          4/18 Carrboro, NC — Cat's Cradle+
          4/20 Lynchburg, VA — Warehouse Concert Series~
          4/21 Richmond, VA — The Broadberry~
          4/23 Asbury Park, NJ — Asbury Lanes~
          4/24 Cleveland, OH — Beachland Ballroom & Tavern~
          4/26 Madison, WI — Majestic Theatre~
          4/27 St. Louis, MO — Old Rock House~
          4/28 Louisville, KY — Headliners Music Hall~
          8/11-13 San Francisco, CA — Outside Lands Music Festival 2023
          9/05 London, UK — O2 Forum

          ^ with Tommy Lefroy
          * with Venus & the Flytraps
          ~ with Christian Lee Huston
          + with Ralphie Kent


Samia 3/10/2023 at Variety Playhouse | Dylan Basden Photography

This is one of, if not the, best performances I've seen in a long time. For reference, after a two hour drive back home following the concert my car's alternator went out, stranding me in the middle of the street just two blocks from home. I sat there for two hours. Even after that ordeal I still had a fantastic night, solely from the lingering high of Samia's show. There is a clear passion in her work, and between her performance and her band's musicianship I couldn't help but continue thinking about her set for hours after the show. You absolutely should go see Samia live. 

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