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WEYES BLOOD @ Chevron Lighthouse gets 9/10


Weyes Blood @ Chevron Lighthouse
w/ Jack Davies
Sunday, February 23, 2020

9/10

Perth Festival is a time that attracts people of all ages to its events, with crowds usually having an older demographic due to its sociable performance times and friendly venues. Weyes Blood certainly dropped the average age with the younger population swarming to see one of the buzz acts of the past 12 months. 

Jack Davies

Easing the punters into the evening was Jack Davies. On this night he was performing as a duo and left the majority of his backing band The Bush Chooks at home. Davies put an Australiana slant on the folk genre during a likeable set. His tunes are relatable as the lyrics are so ‘regular’ that they could be mistaken for diary entries. Rosemary Mushrooms has more lyrics than the rules allow, and yet is a fun ride. Despite struggling with a capo or hitting a dud note every now and again, Davies would laugh it off and draw the crowd closer. With his guitar hitched high, he ended his short set with Broken Glass, stealthily collecting some new fans along the way. 

Weyes Blood

While a backing track of the song Titanic Rising played in the background, Weyes Blood and her band approached their instruments. All of the band members were dressed in black, with band leader Natalie Mering taking a central position in a white suit. From the moment that A Lot’s Gonna Change got things underway, Mering’s voice was crystal clear and the band were rock solid. With the album having such pristine production, any thoughts that these songs would suffer in the live setting was dismissed immediately. 

It is rare that a gig sounds as good as Weyes Blood did. Each instrument was expertly placed in the mix and the band members knew their sonic place in each song. Where Weyes Blood put other bands to the sword is that they were able to maintain this exquisite aural palate without sucking the emotion or personality out of each tune. 

Weyes Blood

Mering stated that Perth was the furthest point that she has ever been away from her home, which was a fitting thought given her latest album ponders the greater galaxy as well as simpler ideals. There was no saving of the ‘hit’ singles until the end of the gig, with Everyday getting the crowd from their seats and towards the stage. With its upbeat melody yet less chipper subject material, it is a tune that shows Mering’s penchant for classic songwriters like Harry Nilsson.

Switching between keyboards and guitar, the talented Mering looked like a fourth Haim sister on stage. The high point of the night came in the form of Something To Believe, with the band coming into their own. The harmonies were spot on throughout and the AM radio guitar sound cut through in all the right places. Picture Me Better was a song that Mering thought she was writing about herself, until she realised it was actually about a friend from Adelaide who committed suicide.

Weyes Blood

Songs from earlier albums like Do You Need My Love fit in seamlessly as if they were all written in the same session, such is Weyes Blood’s consistency. She quizzed the crowd as to whether the moon landing was a conspiracy, touched on greek mythology and revealed a passion for haunted spaces during the course of the evening. Synth arpeggios signalled the beginning of Movies, a song exploring the untruths of the medium through a teenager’s eyes. As the song built to a crescendo, Mering became the most animated she had been, taking off her jacket, swinging it to the floor and dancing around the stage with exaggerated arm gestures. 

Having delivered the majority of the Titanic Rising album throughout the night, they returned to the stage for an encore that would air some lesser-known material. The slow burn of Generation Why from Front Row Seat To Earth was majestic and expertly layered by her touring band. Mering then bid the band farewell for a solo rendition of Bad Magic. The crowd was silent as Mering showed that even at their bare minimum, her songs and voice are captivating. 

CHRIS HAVERCROFT

Photos by NuShade

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