Entering El Club for the first time in two years felt like walking through a childhood home frozen in time. You expect it all to be different — and some things are, like no more Modelo, so you choose a different beer — but mostly it’s the same as you left it, painted bathroom walls and a lovely yard.
My first show back was on Sunday, Sept. 13, for Faye Webster’s debut show in Detroit, Mich. at El Club. Just a few days before, my partner moved out of Ann Arbor to Oxford, England, and I was ready to drop myself into the presence of strangers and music to shed a few tears.
The openers, Danger Incorporated, are a rap duo hailing from Faye’s hometown of Atlanta, Ga. The combination of a rap duo and a folk artist might seem strange, but Boothlord of Danger Incorporated and Faye Webster are in a relationship. The two met at Awful Records, an Atlantan collective of artists and musicians which now focuses solely on rap artists. The combination that came together through love and partnership set the tone for a sweet, intimate evening.
After Danger Incorporated finished, the room shifted. Some left to grab a drink, while many more people quickly filled the room. Red LED circles adorned the stage with “haha” in the middle of them, nodding to Webster’s album title and cover. Faye represents this current era of her music through these little red circles, inspired by color coding labels and cobalt blue. She wore blue on stage, with braids finished with blue scrunchies. The simplicity and silliness of her aesthetic correlate with her songwriting, which covers everything from new relationships to feelings of loneliness to knowing that you are indeed funny. The show continued on, and my tears arrived when she played “In A Good Way.”
The majority of the songs played were off of Faye’s most recent release, I Know I’m Funny haha. The album walks along the lines of crying so much you begin to laugh, and laughing so hard you begin to cry. When held up to her previous works, this album has a twinkle, mimicking the feeling of getting into a relationship or surviving a pandemic.
In between songs, we learned that Faye Webster truly is funny. She exposed her water drinking habits on stage, where instead of taking a quick sip it is always a glug glug glug, and after that anytime she’d drink water the crowd would glug glug glug. She also brought attention to her love of the video game “Animal Crossing” and its soundtrack. Faye and her band proceeded to play a cover of the song “7 PM” from the game.
The concert felt like the perfect entrance into a post-pandemic world, where jokes are encouraged and intimacy is created simply by just being in a room full of people again.
Daily Arts Writer Katy Trame can be reached at email@example.com.