By Dora Prieto
September 7, 2019
The Biltmore Cabaret
A New York City native of Sikh Punjabi parents, Raveena graced Vancouver with her presence on her North American tour supporting her new album, Lucid.
Raveena has gained a dedicated following through her contemporary R&B with soulful vocals and positive messages of self-love. When Raveena stepped onto the Biltmore stage with grace, the excitement in the small venue was that of dedicated fans. Her stage design has a comforting 70s dreamy bedroom feel, complete with a large green shag rug (on which Raveena played her entire set barefoot), papier-mâché mushrooms, and some daisy cloth sculptures standing upright around four-feet-tall, radiating from a soft glowing light at their centre. This intimate scene made for a deeply personal concert.
Raveena prefaced a few of the single releases she is best known for, including “Sweet Time,” by calmly stating that these songs were inspired by trauma she had been through. Her honest and vulnerable stage presence throughout the performance, including a one-minute self-love meditation with the entire audience, created a ambience of nuanced serenity.
Part way through her set, Raveena broke out some of the classic Indian dance moves of Bhangra, working them seamlessly into instrumental breaks. As a dance that most Punjabi girls learn as children, a number of women were mirroring her movements throughout the audience. For the numerous fans from Vancouver’s large Punjabi Sikh community in the audience, this gave a particular vibe of inclusivity to immigrant communities.
For their encore, she asked the audience, “Does anyone have an immigrant mother?” to which the response was a clear majority. Overall, the venue, stage design, and stage presence complemented the style and content of Raveena’s music, lulling the audience into an inclusive, intimate space.Biltmore Cabaret, Raveena