Humberstone makes Atlanta debut at the Eastern

Holly Humberstone mesmerizes audiences during her set at the Eastern. Humberstone is the opening act for Girl in Red on her world tour, on which Atlanta was the first stop. // Photo by Josh Kim Student Publications

With a paper cup of tea in one hand and a microphone in the other, 22-year-old singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone greeted a sold-out venue on Monday, March 7 in Reynoldstown. 

Humberstone, the opening act for Girl in Red on her world tour, made her first stop out of 55 at the Eastern in Atlanta this week. 

Humberstone, a singer-songwriter from Grantham, England, first started releasing music in 2020, but in her two years in the industry, she has set a niche for herself in sad, catchy indie pop.

During her performance, Humberstone was the sole musician on the stage, using multiple guitars, keyboards and an electronic drum pad at her disposal. She looped beats for her songs live in front of the audience with a trained precision. 

Although her small frame did not physically occupy much of the space, her focus and passion radiated into the audience. Within the first song, even those hearing Humberstone’s name for the first time were jamming along.

Especially early on in the set, Humberstone’s nervous energy was apparent but charming. She stated that she had never been to Atlanta before. In fact, this tour marks her debut in many cities across the globe.

However, as the audience cheered her on, signaling hearts with their hands, Humberstone quickly warmed up to the stage. Gentle, swaying dance moves paired with graceful strums of her guitar to shape her visual performance. 

The highlight of the set was Humberstone playing her favorite song that she has written, “Deep End,” which is about her sister. In an emotionally vulnerable and touching moment, Humberstone shared her pain with watching someone she loves suffer without the power to help. 

Many members of the audience could relate, as apparent by the tears streaming down their faces. Those who came to the venue with their loved ones held them tightly as they focused on Humberstone’s performance.

In contrast, the groovy, danceable beats of “Please Don’t Leave Just Yet” and “Falling Asleep at the Wheel” kept the venue bouncing with a steady rhythm of drums and keyboard. 

With songs like “London is Lonely,” Humberstone expertly navigated her unique variation of alternative pop using somber vocals and catchy instrumentals. 

Despite her shy stage presence, audiences adored her, shouting encouragement at the stage and commenting amongst themselves admiration of her talent.

Although her set was short — about thirty minutes —  the lights brightened following Humberstone’s performance on over 2,000 people who experienced a rollercoaster of emotions as one collective whole. 

The effect on the audience was palpable, with many pulling their phones out to add her on Spotify, despite the limited cell service in the venue. It is clear that Humberstone is well on her way to becoming a well-known name among pop audiences.

Although Humbestone’s career is just beginning, Atlanta cannot wait to invite her back again and again with each new phase of her career. As she continues to release new music and engage with audiences, Humberstone will surely be headlining a show of her own, and the city can only hope that she will soon return to its music venues.