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The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

I wish I had a ‘Time Machine’ to go back to Kenzie Cait’s concert at The End

The Nashville native rocked The End with her friends Bridey Costello and Tristan.
George Albu
Kenzie Cait screaming into the microphone on stage, as photographed on March 22, 2024. (Hustler Multimedia/George Albu)

Bridey Costello, Tristan and Kenzie Cait performed at The End on March 22, presented by Mean Machine Concerts to perform a fun-filled performance. The trio are queen bees in their own aspects, with the latter two focusing on writing about their past toxic relationships. Costello focuses on singing about her adolescence; as a current college student at Belmont University, she claims she writes many of her songs in her dorm room. The trio is an incredible force of feminist artistry to listen to under one roof.

Costello performed music from her latest singles along with a few unreleased songs to start the night. A favorite of mine, “Pulling Teeth,” spoke about the angst of a demanding relationship where you are giving much more than the other side. Much of the music Costello performed that night also highlighted many of the difficulties some adolescents face, including depression and repression of their sexual orientation. 

Next up on stage came Tristan, a black-haired ball of fury. A notable track from her set included “Last Girl on Earth,” a song describing her desire to get with an ex even if he would only date her if she was the “last girl on Earth.” Next came “BIG BABY!” from her latest EP “If the shoe fits, Wear It,” a track calling out her exes who complained about songs talking about them — even when they were not about them. The crowd’s energy surged as Tristan nearly floated across the stage, singing along with Tristan to every “wah wah wah” on the track.
For one of the last songs of her set, Tristan performed “Tough Subject,” a song about her standing up for herself when an ex was disrespectful to her. Despite the song being new, the crowd appeared to still resonate with it, and several people could be seen jumping up and down to every beat. With lyrics talking about how Tristan says she would rather be a “tough subject” than not be brought up at all and wishing to be seen as “more than a body,” it highlights the struggle of feeling loved within being in a toxic relationship.

Next up was Cait, a Southern cinnamon bun with a habanero core. In a pre-show interview with The Hustler, Cait explained why she dedicated herself to her music career. 

“I got my heart broken for the first time when I was 18, and that was like the motivating factor for me to say ‘screw everything else,’ ” Cait said.
Cait also stated that her songs are about different exes, but there are a few “main characters” that have multiple songs dedicated to them. Cait, a Nashville musician coming from Buffalo, N.Y., describes the start of her music career as hectic. After dropping out from Belmont University, Cait began to pursue her singing career. She described the development of her first track “Time Machine” as challenging due to her lack of connections to the music business, a challenge quite a few upcoming artists face in Nashville. Regardless, Cait gave encouragement to anyone thinking about becoming a musician. 

 “Just do it, just release that track,” Cait said.
Cait also admitted to occasionally struggling with being nervous before she performs.

“Yeah, sometimes I’m like ‘Oh God, what if I forget my pants? But because I grew up doing theatre, I know I’ve gotten used to it,” Caid said.

When it came down to it, Kenzie Cait did not show any trace of that stage fright at her Nashville show. She started the night singing about longing for an abusive ex with “That Girl,” before transitioning to an unreleased track titled “Six Feet Under.” According to Cait, the unreleased track is perfect for when you want to show your friend’s new boyfriend a piece of your mind. The rock-heavy track had her leaping back and forth on stage, with Cait bending over to directly stare at audience members in the front row. The fan interaction, done by all three artists but especially mastered by Cait, enhanced the set and made for a magical night.

Following “Six Feet Under,” Cait performed “her baby” and “Time Machine,” a day-one classic that had Cait continuing to do what she does best, as she asked the audience to whom she should dedicate the song. This resulted in Cait denouncing multiple exes on behalf of the girls in the front row, sparking cheers from the rest of the audience. 

Cait wrapped up her set with two of — in her opinion— her saddest songs. “The Worst Part” describes that sense of longing with a broken heart towards a lost love. Personally, this is one of the most striking songs for me due to it reminding me of a lover; we both were huge fans of The 1975, making me want to “still skip ‘Somebody Else’ sometimes.” Therefore, hearing Cait sing such a special song felt surreal. “Buffalo” was the last song of her set, a nod back to returning to your old hometown to see that nothing much had changed, and still longing for your ex-lover. The sentimental track appeared to strike the hearts of some in the audience, with many singing along. Something I find quite interesting in Cait’s discography is the variety of break-up songs she has, from floor-stomping tracks like “Six Feet Under” to sit-down acoustic guitar tracks like “Buffalo,” Cait serves the tastes of many in her work. 

As Cait went backstage after wrapping up her show, the audience voiced different desires. Almost instantly, an audience member yelled “give us one more!” which prompted the crowd to chant “Cait! Cait! Cait!” These demands were addressed by Cait in the best way she could, with an encore of “Don’t Break My.” The upbeat track requires a train of energy to perform, but nevertheless, Cait consistently sprinted back and forth throughout the song. She even high-fived members of the audience as she sang the start of the chorus “don’t break my heart, break my bed.” This prompted much of the audience to sing along in unison with Cait, highlighting the special relationship Cait has with her audience. 

As the show came to a close, many of the musicians were seen around The End celebrating with their friends and fans. Overall, it could be said that it appeared many core memories were made that night. For some, many memories were revisited as well, concluding a night of female phoenixes overcoming challenging relationships to become rising stars in the Music City.

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About the Contributor
George Albu
George Albu, Staff Writer and Photographer
George Albu (‘27) is majoring in medicine, health and society in the College of Arts and Science. When not working for The Hustler, he enjoys taking long walks around campus, reading or watching video essays about anything and everything online. He can be reached at [email protected].
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1 month ago

Kenzie Cait is truly an amazing rising star!