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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

The wonder of Weyes Blood

Weyes Blood proves her “critical darling” status at the Brooklyn Bowl.
Neil Krug
Portrait of Weyes Blood with a shining light on her white top. (Photo courtesy of Neil Krug)

When I arrived at the Brooklyn Bowl for Weyes Blood’s April 5th show, I assumed that opener Laetitia Tamko, known as Vagabon, was a full band. Her songs were packed with a mix of electronic and instrumental beats and filled the place with sound. Instead, I entered the pit to see the one-woman act commanding the stage with her soundboard, guitar and lovesick lyrics. 

The stage was already lined with candles and set with soft lighting during the opener’s set. Vagabon sang to a warm reception in a billowy, bright red dress, a nod to the main act, Weyes Blood’s primary colors. She deftly transitioned from moving ballads such as “Don’t Blame It On The Moon” to dance-pop highlights like “Carpenter.” Cosigned by Mitski and Rostam, it’s likely Vagabon will become beloved on the indie circuit. Weyes Blood has already broken through the underground music scene to become a part of the biggest names in alternative music now.

Weyes Blood’s band walked in donned in all black, and Natalie Mering, known as Weyes (pronounced “wise”) Blood, stood apart from her band in a flowing white gown.  

My awe lasted the whole night. As she sang, Weyes Blood’s voice was steady, soft and exactly like her records. Her gravitational tone carried a weight that pulled and lulled the audience through meditative cuts like “God Turn Me Into a Flower” and “Andromeda.” “God Turn Me Into a Flower,” a standout of the night, brought the audience to stillness. I felt enraptured by her stunning vocals and what appeared to be a compilation of films being shown behind her. 

Weyes Blood held a well-paced and rounded set, with light choreography scattered into the more upbeat songs “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” and “Children of the Empire” at the start of the show. The rocky dramatic centerpiece of the show, “Wild Time,” included a fantastic guitar solo that revived the middle of the set. Other crowd favorites, like “A Lot’s Gonna Change,” were evenly split across the show. 

The singer maintained a funny banter with the audience, quipping on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to hypothetical breakup scenarios. All of this kept a light energy during the show. The audience came prepared with shout-outs and handed Weyes Blood gifts such as DVD films, with one notable copy of “Titanic” in reference to her critically-acclaimed 2019 album, “Titanic Rising.” Returning the gesture, she threw white roses to the audience who eagerly grabbed them during “Twin Flame.” After Weyes Blood returned to the stage for her final encore performance, she sang the title track from her latest album, “And In the Darkness, Hearts Aglow.” Her moving performance of “Hearts Aglow” had every couple swaying in time with the rhythm. During the song, her dress glowed with a bright red heart — referencing the cover of her latest album.

If not for the bright red clock offstage, I would not have noticed that two hours went by over the course of the show. There wasn’t much chatter from the crowd throughout the night, as most of the audience gave the performers their undivided attention. We all got lost in the smooth sounds of her band. The roaring applause after Weyes Blood’s final song suggests our focus was worth it. 

Everyone’s talent was undeniable, and as I left, I heard one concert-goer admit, “I thought I wasn’t going to like it because her music is so slow, but [the show] was banger after banger.”  Weyes Blood and her band were a striking example of just how little a show needs to be good. Great vocals, heart-aching lyricism and brilliant instrumentation were enough to prove the singer and musician’s “critical darling” status. Such a balance left me feeling at peace and refreshed after the show, eager to dive deeper into her adored albums.

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About the Contributor
Muthoni Kamau
Muthoni Kamau, Staff Writer
Muthoni Kamau ('24) is from Dallas, and is majoring in history and minoring in political science and sociology in the College of Arts and Science. When not writing for The Hustler, Muthoni enjoys walking around Nashville, finding new albums and reading. They can be reached at [email protected].
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