“It feels like we’re all in a little living room together.” It makes sense for an artist to say this about a jazz club or local dive bar, but the Greek Theatre? Undaunted, LA based Natalie Mering, known professionally as Weyes Blood, is headlining the Greek with an impressive 6,000 people in attendance to witness her ‘In Holy Flux Tour.’ Surrounded by hills and pine trees bathed in colorful lights, the Greek transformed into a psychedelic forest in preparation for the night’s theatrics.
Perfume Genius opened the night, taking the stage as a striking choral chant crescendoed into the start of “Your Body Changes Everything.” Lead vocalist Michael Alden Hadreas’s performance was absolutely spellbinding. With eccentric choreography embodying his distinct art-pop sound, Hadreas’s performance culminated in “My Body,” when a dancer dramatically whipped him with a bouquet of flowers. As petals showered the audience, the two spiraled to the ground, a manifestation of a dramatic, tumultuous love story. He ended his set with “Queen” off of 2014’s Too Bright, in which he enclosed himself in tulle fabric seemingly representing a veil, singing the lyrics “Don’t you know your queen? / Gleaning, wrapped in golden leaves / Don’t you know me?”
As the crowd filed in, the stage metamorphosed into a supernatural world for Weyes Blood’s performance, with twinkling candelabras scattered throughout. Finally, Natalie Mering strode onto the stage, donning a glittery snow-white Proenza Schouler gown and cape. “I guess they got me to the Greek,” she joked, as she began the set with “It’s Not Just Me, It’s Everybody.”
Charming the crowd, she explained “You guys are my children, and we are all Children of the Empire,” as thick fog coated the stage. With guitar in hand, her voice channeling the likes of Joni Mitchell and Carole King, she sang “Children of the Empire,” a ballad encouraging younger generations to take action and make lasting positive changes.
Another standout moment from the show was the multimedia performance of “God Turn Me Into a Flower.” Accompanying her vocals were cinematic visuals by award-winning filmmaker Adam Curtis. After a six minute emotional rollercoaster, her haunting alto gave way to birdsong, her gold silhouette backed by spotlight, as flashing images of unrest, love, and disillusionment engulfed the LED screens.
Toward the middle of the show, Natalie sat down at a piano, and announced “Everyday,” off of 2019’s Titanic Rising as her “most mosh worthy tune in the set.” And that it was. Beginning as an upbeat song about the bittersweetness of modern love, the instrumentation climaxed, with Dillon Casey’s guitar shrieking over Jay Rudolph’s drum fills.
Anyone who has been in The Greek’s pit knows it is notoriously cramped, and yet, Natalie kept the crowd engaged by tossing glow sticks into the audience before “Twin Flame.” “Now it’s time to start the rave portion of our set!” she exclaimed, as an intoxicating electronic beat echoed throughout the Greek. Her dress lit up to reveal a red glow where her heart was, which paralleled the medieval and witchy imagery from her recently released “Twin Flame” music video.
She ended the setlist with “Movies.” All lights dimmed, and a single spotlight illuminated Natalie in a blue underwater projection, reminiscent of the cover of her 2019 release, Titanic Rising. As the synth heavy arpeggios looped repeatedly, she belted, “I know the meaning / I know the story / I know the glory / I love movies.” Suddenly, flashing cinematic clips lit up the stage display, and Natalie flung flowers into the audience, twirling across the stage as the violin interlude pierced the soundscape.
Returning for an encore, Natalie reappeared with a white top hat and a wand, which really added to the magical theme of the night. She covered Andy Williams’s “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing,” and dramatically flung her hat into the crowd as she sang the line “Yes true love’s a many-splendored thing.”
To the joy of the audience, she also brought Hadreas of Perfume Genius back onto the stage, and together they sang “Sides,” a collaboration that they released in 2017.
To conclude this humorous night, Natalie questioned the audience, “LA is the DVD capital of the world. Did anyone bring a DVD?” After some DVD cases made their way to the stage from the audience, Natalie announced “Ohhhh boy. The Cat in the Hat. These are bizarre! The Cat in the Hat is hard to watch.” Following this banter, the band exited the stage, and for the final song, Natalie picked up an acoustic guitar and sang “Picture Me Better.” Despite the 6,000 people in the audience, she transformed the Greek into an intimate venue, her serenade embracing those seated in the furthest nosebleeds.
With a swift bow, she blew a kiss to the audience, and pranced off the stage, her shimmering gown trailing behind – just like a scene from the silver screen.
Listen to Weyes Blood’s recent release, And In The Darkness, Hearts Aglow: