Weyes Blood, Vagabon @ Gothic Theater, Denver, Colorado, March 17, 2023 | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, February 28th, 2024  

Weyes Blood

Weyes Blood, Vagabon

Weyes Blood, Vagabon @ Gothic Theater, Denver, Colorado, March 17, 2023,

Mar 28, 2023 Photography by Christa Joyner Moody Web Exclusive
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While waiting on line for doors, fans of Queensrÿche and Matt and Kim purchased tickets at the Gothic Theater box office for upcoming shows. Suffice it to say that the line of people snaking down Broadway in the cold were at the Gothic for things more nuanced, sublime, and wondrous. And this night all those things were ably delivered upon.

Vagabon
Vagabon

By the time Vagabon (aka Lætitia Tamko) took the stage, the tight space was already close to capacity for a sold out show. Tamko picked her way through a maze of instruments and candelabras to a tiny spot on the stage where she played a solo set. Accompanied by a small Yamaha synth and a guitar, she primarily played songs from an album to be released later this year. The already released “Carpenter” sounded fine with its heavy bass notes and percolating percussion. While the second song of her set had more of a relaxed R&B rhythm, Tamko also played a pair of songs from her self-titled 2019 album: “Every Woman” and “Water Me Down.” Tamko was both gracious and reserved, but got a chuckle from the crowd speaking of a prior trip where she was stranded in Vail and forced to order $50 french fries. She closed her set with a pair of spare covers, Tim Hardin’s “Reason To Believe” and Esther Rose’s “Don’t Blame It On The Moon.” The former a nod, maybe unintentionally, to Weyes Blood’s later played “Something to Believe.”

Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood

Weyes Blood (aka Natalie Mering) took the stage with a foursome of backing musicians. The nearly ninety minute set was pulled entirely from 2019’s Titanic Rising and last year’s And In The Darkness Hearts Aglow. Mering wore a floor length form fitting white gown, with a nearly as long cape that served as both garment and prop throughout the evening. Her vocals were as impeccable as her dress was immaculate (she must either break out a new one for each show or be fastidiously tidy). Mering led her fans gently into the set with soothing renditions of “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” and “Children of the Empire.”

Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood

Though Mering and her band sounded fantastic throughout, set highlights included “God Turn Me Into a Flower,” “Grapevine,” “Everyday,” and Titanic Rising centerpiece, “Movies.” “Flower” was accompanied by British videographer Adam Curtis’ stirring images. As Mering sang, clips of extreme violence, hysteria, and calm flashed behind her with a closing image of a building being ransacked with one the intruders spray painting “Burn the Banks” on a column. “Grapevine” had no such visuals, but the build of the song was brought to glorious life in a live setting, while “Everyday” was equally captivating with Mering playing keys.

Weyes Blood
Weyes Blood

“Movies” was as stunning a set piece as it is on the album. With arms held parallel to the ground, Mering’s cape became the silver screen that once graced the theater’s back wall. An aqueous shimmer was cast across her body as she let the song unfurl. The moments where the visuals were as arresting as the songs themselves made for several skin tingling moments. Mering’s encore was given over to “Something To Believe,” which she described as the thesis for the first two of her announced trilogy of albums. And at the audience’s request she closed with a solo acoustic version of “Picture Me Better,” where she had a little chord change stumble at the end. Perhaps just a reminder that Mering is human like the rest of us. But given Mering’s talents, we really don’t believe it.




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