Indie-rock artist Samia takes on the Southside

Claire Neiberg | staff writer. Samia sings her heart out at Southside's Club Café to honor her adoring fans.

Claire Neiberg | staff writer

Oct. 7, 2021

This past Monday, the trailblazing alternative and indie-rock singer-songwriter Samia Finnerty (Samia) brought down the house at Club Café on East Carson Street in Pittsburgh’s Southside.

Samia gained popularity on Spotify in 2017, following her release of “Welcome to Eden.” She is known for her authenticity and ability to connect to her fans, as she captures the essence of growing up, falling in and out of love and facing her fears through music. 

Faithful fans of the 24-year-old New York-native performer crowded into Club Café in anticipation of her electric voice and charming, high-energy dance moves. Opening for Samia was Savannah Conley, another growing name in the indie-rock world.

Conley’s warm personality and emotional originals complimented the discography many Samia fans know and love. Her songs displayed a wide range of angst and sadness, and to finish, she showcased a stunning cover of the Arctic Monkey’s “Do I Wanna Know?” which left fans feeling wrapped in nostalgia.

Samia took the stage, starting out slow with the opening song of her first debut album The Baby. The studio album was released in August 2020 and served as a quarantine favorite for her fans. The first track, “Pool,” captures the album’s recurring themes of the mourning that comes with growing up and explains Samia’s cherished relationship with her family. 

Samia has stated in various interviews that many of her songs focus on “things that she’s scared of,” which is the theme of an emotional single on her album, “Is There Something in the Movies?” During the live performance, Samia took a seat on the drum set and made her audience feel as if she was singing directly to them,  telling  her own story of growing up along with the important people that have come in and out of her life.

While many of Samia’s hits are slow and somber, she also showcased lighthearted, upbeat songs, giving a memorable performance of her no. 1 Spotify track “Big Wheel,” after performing “Fit N Full”— a fan favorite from The Baby. 

Samia has risen to popularity among listeners in the last year, but she paid homage to her earliest days in the indie music scene by giving a beautiful performance of the first song she put on Spotify in 2017, “Welcome to Eden.” She also opened up to fans with one of her other earliest singles, “Django,” and its heartbreaking message.

A moment from Samia’s concert that stole the hearts of the audience members was her performance of “As You Are.” This song opens her newest EP Scout, which was released earlier this year. “As You Are” speaks of love and acceptance, and during the performance, Samia invited Conley back on stage to sing with her to complete the heartwarming number.

For her final songs, Samia surprised the audience with an electrifying cover of Heart’s “Barracuda,” and after fans cheered for “one last song,” she graced the stage with “21” —another early single that made her fans, both old and new, feel at home at the edge of her stage.

For many members of the audience, Samia’s concert was the first live-music event they had been to since the pandemic started in March 2020. The feeling of live music running through my veins again was unreal, and even more so when it was from the ethereal performer that contributed so much to the indie music world during that dark time.