This past weekend, Fenne Lily and Christian Lee Hutson brought their co-headlining tour to Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. The two have worked together before, including their recent cover of the Go-Go’s “Vacation” that preceded the tour kickoff.
First up was LA native Hutson who released his critically acclaimed fourth album Quitters (Anti-) in 2022. His set was a mix of heartfelt songs, sung in an almost whisper-like vocal styling, along with hysterical stage banter and self-deprecation. One minute Hutson could be standing silent and still behind his mic and the next, down on the ground jamming with bassist, Kaylee Stenberg. And while his lyrics can certainly tug at your heartstrings, he could then follow up with a story that would make you almost cry laughing. That’s not an easy feat yet Hutson manages to do just that. And judging by the silence during the quieter moments of his set, the audience understood and appreciated what he was conveying.
Next up was British born but now NYC-based singer-songwriter Lily who hit the road to support her third album, Big Picture (Dead Oceans), which was released in April. It’s a beautiful album that deals with heartbreak and working through it, and songs like “Dawncolored Horse,” “Map of Japan,” and “Red Deer Day” fit nicely with her previous work. Other highlights included “Birthday” and “I Used to Hate My Body But Now I Just Hate You” from her 2020 album, Breach. Joining Lily for the show were Work Wife’s Meredith Lampe and Isaac Stalling, both of whom toured with Hutson and Lily in May, and Hutson himself who joined for a few songs. And pulling double duty was Stenberg who played bass for both sets. It was like one big family affair between like-minded musicians who share a knack for sad songs and big laughs in between them.
Opening the night was Texas’ Why Bonnie who are touring in support of their wonderful 2022 debut album, 90 in November (Keeled Scales). Lead singer-songwriter Blair Howerton relocated to Brooklyn around the time of the pandemic and while the album was mostly written in NYC, the themes are rooted in her Texas upbringing. Their set was a fun lively affair, even when the subject matter wasn’t and found Howerton looking back at small town life. And while it can be introspective, even melancholy, it’s never with despair. More a journal entry on a fun cross country road trip, which I imagine is exactly the point.
Scroll down for pics of the show (photos by Kevin McGann)
CHRISTIAN LEE HUTSON