Faye Webster’s tranquil style of genre-bending musical artistry continues to bloom

By Hunter Bailey

June 14, 2024

Photo: Wendy Hernandez

If you felt underdressed for Faye Webster’s sold-out show at The Fillmore on Wednesday night, you probably fit right in. Webster’s fifth studio album, Underdressed at the Symphony, was inspired by her fixation to immerse herself in the crowd at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, occasions for which she was underdressed. The Atlanta native would often purchase a last-minute ticket to the local symphony, where the awkwardness of her fame and heartbreak could subside.

Faye Webster performing at The Fillmore in Charlotte for her Underdressed at the Symphony Tour. Photo: Wendy Hernandez 

“Going to the symphony was almost like therapy for me,” Webster communicated through a press release for the album. “I was quite literally underdressed at the symphony because I would just decide at the last moment that that’s what I wanted to do. I got to leave what I felt like was kind of a (rough) time in my life and be in this different world for a minute. I liked that I didn’t feel like I belonged.”

She certainly belonged at The Fillmore this week. With a line stringing down Hamilton Street starting from The Comedy Zone, fans were eager to witness the indie songstress take the stage, as the youthful audience flaunted dark colors, piercings, and a multiplicity of styles, exhibiting Webster’s truly eclectic fan base. 

The Atlanta singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Faye Webster, performed a 16-song spanning her last three studio albums. Photo Wendy Hernandez

Following a brief video of Webster’s special edition Minions character for her Despicable Me 4 T-shirt collab, she took the stage sporting a blue and white striped outfit, opening with “But Not Kiss” off her latest album, Underdressed at the Symphony. Punctuated by a delicate run of strings and synth, the pedal steel guitar of longtime band member, Matt “Pistol” Stoessel, led the way on “Wanna Quit All the Time,” kick-starting the sway of the standing-room-only crowd. 



In front of a makeshift laundromat with washers, dryers, clothes racks, and a giant white T-shirt stood Webster and her four-piece band. The hanging shirt was the most intriguing aspect of the backdrop, featuring various light displays, cartoons, and even a visual of the shirt being washed between tracks. 

Webster is joined by Matt “Pistol” Stoessel (pedal steel guitar), Annie Leeth (keys, strings and saxophone), Noor Khan (bass), and Charles LaMont (drums) on tour. Photo: Wendy Hernandez

The singer-songwriter’s meandering indie folk, alt-country and R&B stylings reverberated throughout the venue, as she performed a 16-song set featuring tracks from her last three studio albums. Although her stage presence wasn’t necessarily captivating, her band, featuring Annie Leeth (keys, strings and saxophone), Noor Khan (bass), Charles LaMont (drums) and Stoessel (pedal steel guitar), packed a punch that is best experienced live. 

 

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One of the highlights of the evening featured bubbles floating throughout the venue as the wistful yearning of “Right Side of My Neck” resonated with the crowd, evoking a sing-along. Webster toggled between strumming her guitar and playing her classic Hohner Planet T keyboard throughout the evening, which was highlighted by an instrumental run on “Jonny (Reprise).” 

Following the more uptempo but melancholic, “He Loves Me Yeah!,” Webster and her band waved goodbye to the crowd. Awaiting Webster’s hit song, “Kingston,” the audience clamored for her to reclaim the stage.

Returning with “Feeling Good Today,” Webster introduced her “best friend, LuLu” for a duet, the second of two songs that utilized auto-tune. The first, “Lego Ring,” features Lil Yachty on the album version. 

On brand with Underdressed at the Symphony’s theme, Webster routinely stepped back from the microphone to showcase the instrumentals, and it was no different for her encore, when she introduced her band members to close out her set with the highly anticipated “Kingston.” The combination of the pedal steel, brass, drums and guitar painted a spectacle of raw emotion and heartbreak, highlighting Webster’s feather-light vocal range. 

With eight of the 10 songs from Underdressed at the Symphony filling half of the setlist, Webster split the rest of the evening between 2019’s Atlanta Millionaires Club and 2021’s I Know I’m Funny haha. One song however, was missing: Webster has been excluding “I Know You” from her 2017 self-titled album on tour, which is currently one of her top songs across streaming services. 

As her tranquil style of genre-bending musical artistry continues to bloom, Webster is experiencing a meteoric rise backed by her rabid social media following. She’ll return to the Carolinas in September, headlining Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh

With eight of 10 songs from ‘Underdressed at the Symphony,’ Webster split the rest of the night between 2019’s ‘Atlanta Millionaires Club’ and 2021’s ‘I Know I’m Funny haha.’ Photo: Wendy Hernandez

Setlist:

“But Not Kiss”
“Wanna Quit All the Time”
“Thinking About You”
“Right Side of My Neck”
“Better Distractions”
“Kind Of”
“A Dream With a Baseball Player”
“Tttttime”
“Lego Ring”
“Jonny”
“Jonny (Reprise)”

“Lifetime”
“In a Good Way”
“He Loves Me Yeah!”

Encore

“Feeling Good Today”
“Kingston”




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