Photos by Hana Tobias
On December 6, Weyes Blood (pronounced “wise blood”) opened her tour to a packed house at the Music Box. It was a gorgeous night as she played a collection of songs from her newest album, And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow to hundreds of leather-jacket-clad listeners. The concert had some occasional kinks due to the audience being—in Weyes Blood’s words—“guinea pigs” for the tour, but her performance was flawless.
Jess Williamson played a lovely opening set with pleasant acoustic folk tracks from her most recent solo album, Sorceress. The musician remarked that “it’s been a while since [she] played solo,” having recently toured her project Plains alongside collaborator Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee. Her floaty voice gave life to her subdued, peaceful songs.
Next, Weyes Blood took the stage. Weyes Blood is the solo project of 34-year-old Natalie Mering, who has been performing under variations of the pseudonym since 2003. She released her newest 10-track LP on November 18 to critical acclaim.
Weyes Blood’s set began with “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody,” the lead single off her 2022 album. The song finds her grappling with the loneliness that, she posits, plagues everyone lately. Haunting yet comforting, it set the tone for the rest of the night. “God Turn Me Into a Flower”—another And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow single—showcased her gorgeous voice; bolstered by ethereal synths, the song culminated in a wordless melody that filled the room with endlessly reverberating beauty. Her soft tone is clearly a strong aesthetic choice; on occasion, she belted effortlessly, showing off the vocal power that sat just under the surface during most of her performance.
During the performance, Weyes Blood was quietly charismatic, inviting the audience into her world. At one point, she joked that the audience can partake in a “soft mosh.” Throughout the night, there was a sense of warmth permeating the room. Much of her newest music, similarly to “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody,” centers on making sense of the collective trauma of the past few years; there was a comfort to hearing these themes of loneliness and distress explored. “The Worst is Done” found her rebelling against the idea that the pandemic is over, so we should all move on, singing, “They say the worst is done/But I think it’s only just begun.” On “Twin Flame,” she struggled with a relationship that, rather than curing her loneliness, simply furthered her isolation: “You’re my twin flame/And you got me so cold/When you pull away.” Her openness in her music combatted that loneliness, creating a unique sense of community.
Weyes Blood capped off her official set with a beautiful rendition of “Movies” (from her 2018 album Titanic Rising), but the true end of the night came with her encore of “A Lot’s Gonna Change” (the opening track of Titanic Rising). As she sang, “Let me change my words/Show me where it hurts” to end the song, a reverent silence spread over the crowd. It was a reaction indicative of the audience’s appreciation for the art they’d just experienced. Weyes Blood put on an excellent show that brought the crowd together in defiance of the darkness that her music explores.
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