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KPH Blog

Weyes Blood Bleeds Magic For Portland

On March 23, 2023, Natalie Mering, professionally known as Weyes Blood, played a set at Crystal Ballroom. Opening with “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody” and ending with “Picture Me Better.” Blood filled the stage with magic.

Known for releasing whimsical, psychedelic music and album covers, Blood brought us a performance that was much more than a listening experience – it was a supernatural set of vignettes. Incorporating multiple artistic mediums and political themes, Blood brought new meaning to her music.

Lit entirely by candlelight, Blood wore a long white dress with a matching cape throughout the show. This attire was clearly reminiscent of the silk dress she donned in the album art from her latest release, “And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow.” To make this connection even more vivid, during the middle of her set, a red glowing light appeared on her body in the shape of a heart. Another way she referenced the themes and art from her albums was through her projection of light onto the stage. Towards the end of her set, she performed several songs in front of a green and blue light, projecting the movement and appearance of water. Just as she was stuck underwater in her room for the album covers of both “Rough Trade Session” and “Titanic Rising,” her body danced as if she was swimming on stage.

Blood’s incorporation of art during “God Turn Me Into a Flower” introduced new layers to her lyrics. Projected behind her as she slowly danced was a series of videos compiled by filmmaker Adam Curtis. She introduced the film by asking about the crowd’s experience with religion, then sharing how she embraces spirituality through music. While obviously connected to “God” in the title, her choice of imagery in this film indicates that this song is also connected to social issues. The images depicted important historical events, directing the audience to pay attention to the screen as much as to the lyrics. Ending on ten “Oh”s, the screen shifted from clips of famous vintage movies to clips of war, homelessness, and protests. Clearly interested in matters of the heart, Blood seemed to encourage the audience to recognize the history and tragedies forming around them.

Although Blood incorporates these artistic choices in her shows across the world, seeing her perform in Portland as a Lewis and Clark student was particularly special. Mentioning how she attended a year of LC before dropping out to pursue music professionally, she explained that Portland has a special place in her heart.

She admitted that “you can get into a lot of mischief in this town, you got a lot of weird house parties.”

While attending LC, Blood hosted a radio show, which she has talked about in several interviews. During this concert, she also chose to talk about an experience being interviewed on the college radio here. It is unclear whether this college radio station was KPH, but she did nod her head when a few LC students shouted the name out.

“I had a session with them and it was a really big deal because I was very unknown and my sets were really kind of rough… They were raw and they weren’t together like they are now and I had a bad cold and I decided to drink a bottle of Robitussin. And I showed up and I just felt like my gear was really close and really far away and I was just walking like this.” [walks with hips pointing forwards]. “So I robo-tripped. Like I did this awful session. I was screaming out of a karaoke machine. It was really distorted and the radio people looked at me like ‘Thanks. We won’t be asking you back.’ and I was like ‘I’m only 18 you know I’m doing the best I can.’”

Based on the concert’s sold-out status, Portland, the “psychedelic” city, as Blood called it, has definitely appreciated Blood’s efforts over the years. After throwing roses into the crowd, several Portlanders brought up old DVDs for Weyes Blood and her bandmates to watch on their tour bus. She marveled over the obscurity of several of the films, explaining that most of her audiences only bring children’s movies to her. Living up to its reputation, Portland brought her vintage film relics of 2001 and cheered her on for a wonderful performance.


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