It’s hard to believe that it’s been 11 years since Willow Smith released her debut single, “Whip My Hair.” A lot has changed since then — as have we all since we were 10 years old). Smith, now 21 and performing as WILLOW, has shed the popstar image (and her long hair) in favor of a new pop-punk persona that’s far more fitting, as she performed at Fillmore in the AvidxChange Music Factory on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
Even the song “Whip My Hair” itself is a hint of its former self. Kicking off her set with “Transparent Soul,” Smith commanded the stage and made use of every inch of it — pacing back and forth, dancing around, and strutting her moves like Jagger — while whipping the crowd into a frenzy.
Her stage presence might be genetic, as the offspring of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, but she’s clearly creating a path of her own. Worth noting that the show was opened by the energetic family foursome We Don’t Ride Llamas, an Austin-based rock band that coined the term “shillelagh music” to describe the variety of musical genres they embrace; and a brief three-song set from singer/guitarist Anchor Thought.