Faye Webster Blazes a Trail at Stubb's

Faye Webster Blazes a Trail at Stubb's

December 1, 2023 in Concert Reviews

by dj lemonhead

The cold Austin night did not deter the massive crowd of fans gathered outside of Stubbs to see Faye Webster’s sold-out show on November 12.

The line seemed to multiply everywhere you looked, filling up over two street blocks around the corner from the venue entrance. Faye Webster tends to have this effect on people.

The Atlanta-born singer-songwriter was thrusted into popularity after the release of her third studio album, Atlanta Millionaire’s Club, in 2019. Ever since, Faye has been hailed as an icon of the indie music scene, loved by many for her clever lyrics and relatability. She has released a total of four albums and most recently released two singles this year: “But Not Kiss” and “Lifetime.”

Faye’s ethereal opening set an appropriate tone for the show that would follow;

blue wash lighting and billowing fog covered the stage while a ballet played through the speakers. When Faye took the stage and began singing her hit “But Not Kiss,” the blue gave way to a spotlight that created an image of Faye’s silhouette surrounded by streams of light. The image matched the singer’s stage presence perfectly; to the crowd, she was a god-like figure, leading them through her hits that have been on repeat religiously. The physical set of the stage advanced this mythical aura: a mural of Faye sitting on a rock with her hair floating around her filled the upstage wall, the background changing between weather and nature scenes.

Faye Webster Silhouette

Photos by Trevor Kieg

The singer’s rhythm guitar style and jazzy instrumentals during “Kind Of,” “Right Side of My Neck,” and “A Dream With A Baseball Player” showed off the Atlanta influences in her music. Her voice always felt personal and not rehearsed, an impressive quality considering Austin was one of the last stops on a lengthy nationwide tour.

Chatty dialogue was not necessary and Faye knew this, instead guiding the audience with her vocal emotionality which ranged from casual and curt to yearnful and dreamy.

In a setlist full of melancholic songs, “Jonny” stood out above the rest. Faye abandoned the mic stand for this one, holding the microphone as she sang the bittersweet lyrics for a crowd who sang along with strength. The stage backdrop of the moon and space combined with the whining saxophone to create an aura to the song which complimented the bittersweet lyrics Faye delivered so well. During the song she settled behind a keyboard at the front of the stage, adding yet another dimension to her already impressive performance. It is here that she delivered “Jonny (Reprise),” a searing monologue directed towards the subject of the prior song.

Faye and her band followed this by injecting a bit of silliness into the crowd with their rendition of “Eterna City,” a Pokemon theme song.

“Cheers” also added variation to the show, showcasing a more electronic and thrashing sound than other songs while combining flashing lights and images of thunder to create an intense experience for the audience. After this, the band left the stage, leaving the crowd screaming for more.

For the encore, Faye teased the crowd with what she called “a really dumb song I wrote,” an unreleased song called “Feeling Good Today.” This song showed that Faye is continuing to formulate new, unique styles of music; the lone guitar played by Faye juxtaposed the warped vocals of the performance to create an irreverent track.

After this, only one song remained, and the crowd was amped up in anticipation of the artist’s biggest hit. As soon as she began the first verse of “Kingston,” the crowd was singing along ten times louder.

Faye performed this song with casual excellency, delivering crisp vocals that never missed a beat while playing the keyboard with one hand and holding her mic in the other.

The performer really seemed to be having her fun with the crowd at this point, holding her mic out as they roared the lyric, “That’s what he called me.” This song was more of a group performance than a solo act, appropriately bringing the sold-out show to a close.

Faye Webster Vertical

Photos by Trevor Keig

The show Faye put on was a testimony to her legacy; with every song she fused folk, indie, jazz and rock styles behind clever lyrics that the crowd knew every word to. Faye was able to harness the energy of the large crowd with ease instead of becoming overpowered by it.

She proved once again to her fanbase that her talent is constantly evolving, and she still has more to offer. One can almost guarantee that the next time she returns to Austin, Faye Webster will need a bigger venue.

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