Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Faye Webster brings fans stunning performance for eyes and ears

Atlanta+indie+artist+Faye+Webster+performed+Sunday+at+the+Riviera+Theatre+in+Chicago.
MJ Gudino/The Daily Northwestern
Atlanta indie artist Faye Webster performed Sunday at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago.

Indie artist Faye Webster took Chicago by storm, sun, rain and fire at the Riviera Theatre on Sunday night, giving fans an early Halloween treat. 

Supporting act Upchuck, a punk-rock group from Webster’s hometown of Atlanta, set the stage with a show of headbangers and spunk. Lead singer Kaila “KT” Thompson’s electric stage presence immediately activated the audience, creating a dynamic sea of jerking bodies that moved with the beat. 

Announced by a medieval trumpet call and masked by a cloud of blue lighting, Webster came out about 30 minutes later, opening the performance with a crescendoing rendition of her latest single “But Not Kiss.” In a 14-song set that lasted a little more than an hour, Webster took the audience members on an odyssey.

A standout feature of the show was Webster’s background — a stage-filling projection of a static-haired Webster sitting on a rock in front of a landscape that changed throughout each song. The scene focused on the cyclic beauty of nature, oscillating from a raucous thunderstorm to a snowy day, and moving through blazing sunrises and sunsets. 

Webster’s first address to the audience was after her fourth song, the fan favorite “Right Side of My Neck.” She kept her interjections brief throughout the show, each time lauding someone new, from Upchuck to her brother and fellow musician Jack Webster. 

Webster clearly knew she didn’t need to say much to explain herself, as she wove her personality into many aspects of her performance. Beyond her metamorphic backdrop, Webster also included an interlude featuring “Eterna City” from the game Pokémon and performed the orchestrated track “Suite: Jonny,” which includes a monologue directed toward Webster’s “Jonny” about their forgone love. 

These features sprinkled whimsy into the performance and made it more than just an auditory showcase. By adding in the beautiful visuals and special features, Webster created a production that left the audience satiated across the creative spectrum. 

During the penultimate song of her set, “In a Good Way,” Webster brought out Nels Cline, the guitarist of Chicago’s own Wilco, who she called “one of the best of all time.” In a guitar solo,  Cline showcased his skills in a way that perfectly complemented the jazz undertones of Webster’s sound. 

Webster’s encore featured an intimate performance of “Feeling Good Today,” a vocal duet with only Webster and her bassist. And to close out the show, the audience shrieked as Webster performed smash hit “Kingston,” backlit by a setting sun. 

Email: [email protected] 

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