Leith Ross performs at White Oak Music Hall

Written by on June 1, 2023

Tears were shed and giggles shared as Indie Singer-Songwriter Leith Ross graced the White Oak Music Hall stage this past Monday. The artist, whose original songs blew up on TikTok after posting singing clips, held one of the most intimate and heartwarming concerts I’ve experienced to date. The concert additionally featured songs from opener act Ash Tuesday and fellow indie artist/guitarist Tofusmell

Photo by Alina Velasquez

Ash Tuesday set the tone with a handful of songs including her most streamed single “No Blood, No Needles, Nothing”, and a few others off of her just-released EP Big Sky. Even with a few technical difficulties, her charm and raw vocal talent opened the show with fresh energy. 

Photo by Alina Velasquez

Once Leith took the stage at 9 pm, the energy from fans shifted from a loud roar of excitement to a soft hush of anticipation. There was a silent acknowledgment that this is the kind of artist you want to hear every breath and note of. The first song played was “5am” off Ross’s latest album To Learn. This track begins with an instrumental intro that not only set the tone for the emotional impact of the show but displayed the musical ability of the accompanying band. 

Photo by Alina Velasquez

What charmed me about the band is the amount that Leith hypes up each of their individual talents and artist careers. There is a moment that Leith has been doing on every stop of the tour, where they highlight different band members. For the Houston show, Leith’s guitarist tofusmell played a single from their own discography called “Basil Noodles”. The mutual artist appreciation and good vibes heightened the intimacy and synergy of the entire night. 

The set list of Ross’s concert was so artfully curated to a live experience. There were delicate moments of vulnerability and others of unadulterated joy. It was as if the music cried with the audience, then gave you a tender hug. 

Photo by Alina Velasquez

The bond between artist and audience was palpable as Leith was playing crowd favorites like “I’d Have to Think About It”, “Music Box”, “To Me”, and “We’ll Never Have Sex”. Undeniably the song that had the biggest impact was “(You) On My Arm”. The romantic queer messaging, fans yelling the lyrics, and vibrant performance from Leith (not to mention the snazzy rainbow lighting the production crew added for vibes) culminated in an intoxicating pit experience.

Leith Ross exemplifies all that is good about the indie folk genre and then some – creating a show experience with inclusivity, sensitivity, and genuine fun. Leith continues their tour through Nov. 19. We highly recommend attending a later show, or catching them next time they come to Houston.

  • Viviana Zermeño

    Viviana Zermeño is writer for the Coog Radio web team. She is a Senior Media Production student here at the University of Houston. Through her articles she wishes to show her appreciation for music, media, and the people who make it.

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