Nellie McKay Brings Broadway to Montclair

Nellie Mckay and The Fond Fearwells, the duo made up of Chris Mills and Megan Reilly, provided a night of witty banter and cheerful songs.

Nellie McKay transports listeners back to the 60s through her theatrical performance.

nelliw mckay
Photo by Emma Gallof for The Montclair Dispatch.

On Friday, Nov. 11, Outpost in the Burbs hosted broadway performer and musician, Nellie McKay, along with openers Chris Mills and Megan Reilly, for a wonderful night of cheerful music. The night opened up with a nice ode to the veterans in the room, as it was Veteran’s Day,  and honored them for their service. Shortly after, Chris Mills and Megan Reilly were welcomed to the stage for their first show together as a duo, called The Fond Fearwells.

They began their set with the mellow song, “Let’s Find Our Place Inside the Night,” which consisted of harmonies accompanied by acoustic guitar, which made for a powerful sound. As the night continued there was obvious chemistry between Mills and Reilly, as the two would repeatedly look towards each other for reassurance while performing.

The two had the crowd laughing throughout their whole set, as they even said to the concert goers, “We are just talking up here!” The two discussed whether they played the previously song correctly or not. Although it was Mills’ and Reilly’s first show together as a duo, they received a fantastic response from the crowd.

“I feel like we keep looking at each other with fear and surprise. It’s so new!” Mills exclaimed towards the end of their set, to which Reilly responded, “It’s good to feel these things because the one time I didn’t have nerves before a show I messed up.”

They ended their set with a bang as they received a roaring applause from the excited concert goers. After a short break, Outpost in the Burbs welcomed headliner Nellie McKay to the stage.

McKay walked onto the stage, accompanied by Alexi David on bass, and immediately jumped onto the piano. The audience could see McKay’s Broadway experience come out through her music all night, as she utilized the whole piano from bass notes to soprano notes, usually playing these notes in staccato, which added to the theatrical ambiance of the show.

She also implemented different instrumental pieces throughout the night, which led to a unique show you wouldn’t get from anyone else. McKay’s diverse instrumentals, which were implemented into a variety of her songs all differed, and it was almost as if they were telling a story themselves, as they allowed listeners minds to run wild imagining their own story.

Along with the piano,Nellie McKay also played a harmonica and a ukulele, creating a diverse mix of timbre and sound combined with the bass played by David. It was a comical show, as she often talked to herself throughout the night, even asking the crowd, “Do you guys talk to yourself too?” McKay also forgot the words to “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying” and had to ask the crowd what the next line was, to which someone yelled out the next line to help.

“I’m a super fan of hers,” said concert goer Dylan Mayer. “I really enjoy her energy, even in these times when good energy is hard to come by.”

Nellie McKay played many fan favorites including “The Dog Song,” which the crowd recognized by just hearing McKay tap the beginning few beats on the top of her piano before jumping into the piano. Before playing the song “Red Rubber Ball” Mckay was putting on her harmonica, when she mentioned to the crowd, “It’s never too late for your first set of braces.”

Adding to the theatrical performance during the song “¡Bodega!” Alexi David could be seen making different faces and acting as he sang the lyrics along with McKay, as well as even barking like a dog during another song.

To find out when the next Outpost in the Burbs show is, check out their website, and to hear more from any of the artists who performed you can go to, or

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