ACL Live Review: Weyes Blood

All aboard for astral pop magic

A little past 5pm, in the stretch of shade cast over the smaller BMI stage, Weyes Blood began enchanting almost immediately. Natalie Mering’s project came to Austin to finish its Something to Believe tour, yielding a set somewhere between alien and angel, an ornate, cosmic tangle of Laurel Canyon wistfulness and her rich, velvety voice.

Photo by Gary Miller

Opening with slow-burn piano ballad “A Lot's Gonna Change” and backed by a fourpiece, the L.A.-based musician donned a cream nudie suit and aviator sunglasses, a Seventies dream dropped serenely into Zilker Park.

2016’s Front Row Seat to Earth lent “Used to Be” and “Diary” to the set-list, the latter’s atmospheric sigh interrupted by bass bleed from a neighboring stage. Most of the hour pulled from the spectacular, haunting pop ballads of Titanic Rising, Weyes Blood’s fourth LP released earlier this year. Bop along “Everyday,” hushed “Picture Me Better,” and the ethereal “Something to Believe” constituted obvious standouts.

“If there’s any baby boomers out there, we’re gonna do a little song from your time,” the multi-instrumentalist winked, launching into a cover of Procol Harum Sixties jam “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” slipping so seamlessly into the performance that it felt like just another Weyes Blood song.

The swaying, modest crowd grew slowly during the set, enraptured by unassuming star power. On the cover of Titanic Rising, Mering peers at the viewer from a childhood bedroom entirely underwater, flipping the mundane décor into something fantastical and unrecognizable. The same goes for Weyes Blood’s live show: She works as a musical magician, her striking vocals and grace ushering the sound into something otherworldly.

“You guys wanna get a little astral?” Mering asked before “Andromeda.”

The question could’ve framed her entire set, particularly the scintillating ascension of closer “Movies.” Slivers of hopefulness felt intrinsic to Weyes Blood’s sound, each track poised for some planetary liftoff.


Weyes Blood

Friday, Oct. 4, 5:00pm, BMI stage

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Weyes Blood, ACL Fest 2019, Natalie Mering, Procul Harum

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