Weyes Blood performs by candlelight at Union Transfer
[Article and Photos by A.J. Kinney]
After several cancelations over the past few years, Weyes Blood finally made her triumphant return to Pennsylvania with two mid-week, sold out shows (Tues 2/28 and Wed 3/01) at Union Transfer in Philadelphia.
Australia-born musician Molly Lewis was a interesting choice for an opening act. For those not familiar, Lewis is a professional whistler who’s performance was simple but captivating. She was an excellent addition to this lineup as both Molly Lewis and Weyes Blood voices are at the forefront of their acts. The melodies very much stand out on their own, and Lewis’ whistling was a unique, yet perfect prelude for the evening.
Fun fact: Molly Lewis is a member of John C. Reily’s roller skating club, and her father assisted Philippe Petit with his high-wire performance between the World Trade Center towers in 1974.
Natalie Mering’s moniker Weyes Blood ( pronounced Wise Blood ); derived from the Flannery O’Connor novel ‘White Blood’, is a psychedelic folk singer song-writer hailing from Doylestown, Pa.
Dressed in all white, accompanied by a cape, and dimly lit candlelight; Weyes Blood took to the stage and turned an otherwise calm crowd, into a boisterous assembly. You could tell those in attendance had been waiting some time for this moment.
Weyes Blood has an incredible vocal range. This was put on full display during the opening song of the second night “Its Not Just Me, It’s Everybody”. Her ballads float in a dream-like state, often plummeting before uplifting themselves effortlessly throughout each arrangement. The same could be said for her cadence onstage as she elegantly twirled side to side, extending her arms cape in hand.
One notable moment during Weyes Blood’s angelic performance included a media presentation during “God turns me into a flower”. Accompanying the song, old film footage was cast upon a curtain behind the stage. During this time ambient overtones, sounds of rushing water, and birds chirping could be heard alongside the music. This part of the show was shrouded in darkness, beside subtle visual projections on the artist.
Weyes Blood gracefully performed a fourteen song set, consisting of favorable offerings from her most recent albums; And in the Dark Hearts Glow and Titanic Rises. I particularly enjoyed “Wild Time”, and “Twin Flame” as these were two songs deeper in her set, when I was permitted to photograph up close by the stage.
Usually photographers are given only the first few songs during the show. It was a nice change of pace to capture an artist toward the end of their performance. Another highlight of her performance happened when an illuminated heart appeared upon her chest during “Wild Time”, pulling strong reference from the album And in the Dark Hearts Glow.
At the start of the Holy Flux Tour, Weyes Blood asked fans to bring their favorite movies to the show, so the band could watch them while traveling across the country. When this was mentioned Wednesday night, several DVDs made their way onto the stage over the course of the following song. Some notable releases included “Antz”, the original version of “Annie”, and one lesser known ‘film’. A few fans close to the stage were also lucky enough to receive a white rose just before the encore.
After what seemed like only a few brief moments, our escape from reality came to a close with a valiant two song encore featuring a personal favorite “Something to Believe”, and acoustic deep cut “Bad Magic”. With the two night run in the books, Weyes Blood graciously thanked the crowd before pirouetting offstage guitar in hand.