By Jose Francisco Perez
The Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton provides easy access to some great underground talent, however, this time it wasn’t so much underground talent that I found playing but instead a living masterpiece. Weyes Blood, or otherwise known as Natalie Mering, is a singer-songwriter that specializes in psychedelic folk. Think Tame Impala, but Barbra Streisand is Kevin Parker. Weyes Blood isn’t new to the music scene, having written and produced four other records. Titanic Rising is her latest and most refined piece to date, surprising and delighting the indie music scene, praised as a work of art by fans and critics alike, myself included. I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a record that was so incredibly and perfectly executed. Every song feels like a different journey through space and time and this concert was no different.
The thing about Iron Horse is that it is not only convenient and close by, but also one of the most intimate venues I’ve attended. Restaurant by day and music club by night, and even though Weyes Blood performed during what they would call “dinner time,” the tables and chairs did not interfere or distract me from what was about to happen on stage. At first, we were greeted by the opening act, Purr. Purr is the collaborative project between childhood friends from New York, Eliza Callahan and Jack Staffen. Frankly, I’ve never heard their stuff, but boy am I glad I did. Purr was a powerhouse on stage and their lively pop presence did not take away from Weyes Blood’s more melancholy and sorrowful sound. Instead, I think both acts complemented each other quite well. Purr performed a few tracks including their recently released single, “Take You Back,” which I immediately added to my playlists.
As they performed their closing song, the crew quickly took to the stage to remove some of the instruments and add a few extra lights. I was excited. Coming out of the shadows and taking the first steps to garner audience attention is not that hard, however, making a first good impression is. She greeted the audience and established her presence before letting out that first note and as soon as she did, the tables and chairs that were once blocking my view would not interfere with what was about to happen on stage. Her performance immediately felt like it was directed towards me; there was a feeling that made you feel like the only person in the room, her voice echoing from the stage, and the sounds of synths and experimental beats filling my ears. As she serenaded me along with the audience, I wasn’t able to tell what was real or fake. Easily, what might have been an hour or two felt like an eternity I was not upset about being a part of. Ending with her most emotionally-driven song, “Movies”. The funny part was that right after she performed there were no claps, no one got up, it was just silence, it wasn’t until a few minutes after that people started clapping. All in all, fan or not, I think that this performance was one to experience and if the chance to her in concert again appears I will not be one to skip out on it.
Check out Titanic Rising and Purr’s new single “Take You Back” out now on Sub Pop and Anti- Records, respectively.