Music is a divine art — and no one understands this better than Natalie Mering, better known as Weyes Blood.
Combining soaring vocals with sumptuous orchestral arrangements, the 34-year-old artist infuses every aspect of her craft with heavenly heart and evocative elegance. However, Mering managed to transcend an otherworldly new level at The Regency Ballroom on the night of March 25.
Swathed in an exquisite floor-length white dress complete with a rippling cape, Mering gracefully glided onto stage like a celestial being, or perhaps even a dazzling specter. Among an array of flickering candelabras — a fitting set design considering the singer-songwriter’s baroque and chamber pop sensibilities — she greeted the crowd’s adoring cries with a serene smile.
With effortless command over the ritualistic atmosphere, Mering opened with “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody,” the lead single of her latest album And in the Darkness, Hearts Aglow. Over a gentle percussive beat, the track unravels the artist’s insights on the complexities of isolation and alienation. Yet, as Mering swayed unhurriedly at the mic, the warmth of her demeanor only brought her devoted fans closer together at the show’s onset.
As the enthralling evening progressed, she seemed to bewitch not only her audience, but elements of her own production. During “Children of the Empire,” lights flashed intuitively between shades of yellow and pink — a kaleidoscope of colors perfectly in tempo with the vibrant strum of Mering’s guitar. Later, intersecting blue and red spotlights complimented her wistful delivery of “Grapevine,” submerging the artist in a deep violet glow as she contemplated the lingering regrets of a shattered romance.
Mering also mesmerized with her ability to transform the vulnerability and poignant introspection of her songwriting into breathtaking live performances. From the textured emotionality of the stripped-down “A Given Thing” to the way her soaring vocals molded to the expansive and mysterious fan-favorite “Andromeda,” she imbued the title “singer-songwriter” with uniquely ethereal meaning.
Even when she included the occasional upbeat tune in the setlist, Mering’s captivating spell held fast. “If you feel like moshing, this is your one chance to do it,” she warned jokingly, taking a seat at the piano before launching into the jaunty “Everyday.” Though seated at the bench, Mering’s whole body moved with infectious buoyancy as she sang of the intertwined complications between monogamy and the modern dating scene. By the end, the entire audience moved together with carefree energy in collective exaltation.
Interspersed between songs, Mering’s comedic commentary also contributed to the show’s overall levity. “It smells like you guys are having a really good time,” she observed with a knowing grin early on. “May I summon Joe to the stage,” she later called out to a backstage technician while experiencing some minor mic difficulties. Her playfully ominous tone ignited chants of “Joe! Joe! Joe!” throughout the ballroom.
Humor interweaves into Mering’s overarching message of hope and healing, which features most prominently on her latest record. Despite the impending turmoil caused by environmental degradation and modern technology, Mering finds salvation through strength and simplicity. This resolve was conveyed best during “Twin Flame” and “Hearts Aglow.” During both numbers, a red patch on her chest lit up, a vivid flare shining in the darkness.
Nevertheless, Mering’s sonorous sincerity proved to be the ultimate highlight of the night. “If you’d all join my witchy, secular church sesh. It’s time to get sacred,” she prefaced before easing into “God Turn Me Into a Flower.” Especially with Mering’s angelic harmonizations and the addition of an experimental montage from documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis, the hymn formed an experience bordering on the religious.
Rounding out the evening’s most unforgettable moments was the equally reverent “Movies,” from Mering’s 2019 Titanic Rising. As indicated by its name, the song is a cinematic celebration, a flurry of dizzying synths and shimmering strings. Dark blue lights rippled in waves over both Mering and the crowd, reminiscent of the album cover’s underwater theme.
As her lush voice soared to heavenly heights, Mering consecrated The Regency Ballroom with all-encompassing grace. “I wanna be in my own movie,” she confessed. “I wanna be the star of mine.” Beaming like a radiant beacon amid hundreds of devout listeners, Mering was certainly the star of the venue that night.