David Bazan, Fever Blush, & Julien Baker @ Marathon Music Works in Nashville, TN
Review & Photography by: Laurel Williams
Last Thursday Julien Baker played at Marathon Music works in Nashville, TN, just three hours outside of her hometown Memphis. Local indie group Fever Blush opened the show and were followed by David Bazan, who has accompanied Julien for the duration of this tour. When Julien took the stage, cheers were mixed with shouts of “you’re important”. She opened the show with Appointments, the first single off her most recent album Turn Out The Lights. A violinist and drummer accompanied for a few songs, but Julien spent the majority of her set alone on the stage with a keyboard, some guitars, and a looper pedal.
The mood of her introspective, slow, and building songs was mirrored in the quiet and still crowd that hung on her every word. At each sustained note, her voice rang out and resonated through the still room, followed by a low echo of voices singing along. These dreamy moments were punctuated by bursts of loud applause and shouts between songs, and even one audible “holy shit” in the moment before applause broke. The night was both light and heavy, like floating above the earth in ethereal melody but being grounded by the depth and pain in her lyrics. But the night was joyful despite, or perhaps because of, the depth of the songs she plays. I think Julien’s short and sweet instagram bio puts it best: “sad songs make me feel better.” If you have a chance to catch one of the remaining shows on this tour, do it. I don’t think she’ll be playing theaters much longer.