Every performance is affected by its context. Tonight, Pretty Sister, had the difficult task of following Spencer Ludwig and playing before Betty Who. Ludwig had just amazed the audience as a one man band playing keyboards, trumpet, and singing along to a modern funky beat. So, when Pretty Sister, aka Zak Waters, took the stage to just sing along to his prerecorded music, it was a bit of a comedown.
It also didn’t do him any good when he said “I’m not used to this cold. I’m from California”. He wasn’t going to get any sympathy from a Chicago crowd 5 months into winter. The highlight of his set was when Ludwig joined him on stage with his trumpet. Waters seemed to notice his set wasn’t going so well. He even mentioned that he also “was ready for Betty Who.” So, he wrapped up his set quickly.
The Betty Who performance that followed was incredible. It was a tough task to play in the middle. It would probably suit him better to be the first opener. His music is good, but it needs a better context.