March 31, 2017
Weyes Blood and Julie Byrne played Music Hall of Williamsburg
On Thursday evening, Music Hall of Williamsburg hosted a wonderful double billing of Weyes Blood and Julie Byrne for an intimate night of somber folk music.
Fresh off the release of her mesmerizing new record Not Even Happiness, Julie Byrne kicked off the night with her delicate guitar and soothing vocals. Telling tales of travel, her songs are an open book into her wondrous sense of exploration and a longing for all there is to see in this world. Her soft tones and intricate finger picking were an exquisite sight to see as she barely brought her voice over a whisper, yet somehow still set forth a compelling and euphoric experience. Accompanied by a lone violinist, the pair kept their set simple and engaged with the crowd between tracks, expressing her excitement for Weyes Blood and her bashful sense of pride was in full bloom as the crowd cheered her on after each song. It was a balm of a set and really helped set the pace for what was the come next.
Weyes Blood took to the stage alone amongst fog and candelabras that were set on the stage between acts. "You getting lit tonight Brooklyn?", she asked, "'Cause we're lit up here thanks to these candles my mother purchased for me." Her voice beckoned and her band appeared to join her on stage in their best Nick Cave suits and haircuts. It was a haunting night of noir-ish goth-folk that felt straight out of a vampire's lair. Purple and orange spotlights illuminated her crimson tones and really brought her music to life. Her dead-pan demeanor never let up and her resilient voice was impeccable. Her cinematic presence felt larger-than-life as she elevated herself to new heights with each song and never once faulted. For the encore, she broke out a fantastic cover of Can's "Vitamin C" which she nailed with an uncanny precision before dedicating her final song of the night to her fans, Brooklyn, and in particular, Montrose Ave, where she wrote the song during a blizzard of 2013. As purple spots shown down on her, it was a fitting end to a gorgeous and evocative evening.