Review: A Night of This is the Kit’s folk revelry in Brooklyn’s The Opera House

February 29, 2024

Photos and Text by Jeremy Whitaker

Launching the North American leg of their tour, This is the Kit brought their feel-good indie folk to Brooklyn’s The Opera House. 

Holding their breath, chose not to see/Not listening, forgot to breathe" were among the first words delivered by frontwoman Kate Stables. Bouncing on her tiptoes to the melody, the singer shared ageless lyrical wisdom. 

The band, composed of Stables and the talents of Jesse Vernon and Rozi Plain, presented their 7th studio album, "Be Careful of Your Keepers," in mid-2023. Like its predecessors, this album emanates a woodsy and upbeat yet deeply calming ambiance.

This is the Kit has been releasing music since 2008 and has been performing since long before. What they have maintained over the past 15 years is a memorable sound and an authenticity that is nearly malleable when witnessed live. 

Before Kate Stables took center stage barefoot to sing the opening number “Easy on the Thieves,” came opener Sam Amidon in his first performance of the tour. 

Amidon not only wielded a resonant, gravelly voice but also showcased a repertoire of endless musical talents. Effortlessly alternating between guitars, a violin, and a banjo, he seamlessly shifted between original compositions and renditions of classic folk tunes. 

Just as the audience thought they grasped his sound, Amidon introduced new elements or reached high notes that effectively silenced a chattering audience.

He was joined on stage by a child who danced freely, played the tambourine to her rhythm, and sang her own words to the songs on her microphone. It was genuinely sweet. His performance quickly won over the more mature ladies who sat next to me, who whispered his praise to me before, during, and after his songs. 

Amidon set the stage perfectly for the main act, who conversed openly and connected freely with her devoted audience between cups of tea.

Much like their opener, the band seemed to have an endless amount of instrumental knowledge which added significant depth to their already dynamic sound.

Aside from their sound, This is the Kit’s set brought alive the autobiographical lyricism found on their most recent album and the lyricism of eras past.

To put it plainly, these lyrics feel different coming from Stables’ mouth. To be in the audience felt like being a close confidant or friend. 

The audience suggested number “The Turnip,” a story of pregnancy and motherhood, enveloped the crowd in a warm breath, while “Take You to Sleep” nestled the audience in a sonic blanket. 

This is the Kit danced the line between humor and depth to perfectly curate the atmosphere of the venue.

Singing fan favorite "Scabby Head and Legs," Stables treated the audience to a laugh in discussing the difference between European pigeons and American pigeons before delivering the harrowing lines "How can we exist?/ How can we know how to do this?/ Torn to shreds, pigeon on a ledge."

This is the Kit created a singular concert experience that even after 12 songs and an encore left the audience wanting more. Be Careful of Your Keepers was meant to be seen by a live audience.

"Be Careful of Your Keepers" is Out Now: