After I parked my car under the bustling and tall concrete jungle that is I-345, walking beside the old, bricked buildings, I instantly caught eye of the endless line of people snaking along the sidewalk. My first time seeing a show there, I had high respect for The Factory in Deep Ellum given the venue’s rich cultural history. Although, I admit my respect dropped a little when I learned that the live music venue used to be called The Bomb Factory. That name was dope. That aside, I felt ecstatic to watch the folksy charm of the show’s opener – Buck Meek.
Being a member of the destined band of the evening, Big Thief, Buck Meek and company offered a dancy collection of shoe-clicking tunes. Being a big Big Thief fan, Buck Meek’s sound was instantly recognizable to me. However, his raw and heartfelt voice was a pleasant introduction to the artistry of his music.
Nearing the end of the opening performance, an audience member loudly asked who he was. He simply stated, “I’m Buck Meek”. This, in my eyes, was his second introduction, for it was the swaying rhythms, cheeky grins, and playful musicality that told the audience just who he truly was.
Soon after, with sparse re-arrangements of the members in Buck Meek’s band, Big Thief took the stage once Adrianne Lenker made her entrance. The mood in the room softened, and then the band went right into it. Lenker’s affectionate falsetto pierced through the picking of Meek’s guitar. If I could describe it in terms of soup: Warm, brothy ladles of sound poured into my head as Lenker’s vocals stirred them to a creamy texture. Soup aside, I grinned from ear-to-ear watching the band members bring their most recent album, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe In You, to life.
I’m going to capture a few hot moments of the set: James Krivchenia’s drummer face, Adrianne Lenker’s free-shredding, all of Certainty, and finally, Noah Lenker’s jaw harp skills. Yes, Adrianne Lenker’s younger brother jammed out on the jaw harp in my personal favorite song of the set, Spud Infinity.
In the end, Big Thief brought their hearts to each person watching and listening to the performance. Lenker’s songwriting answered our daily stresses and existential questions with love in its simplest form. Coming from a person who got to see the show, there is so much value in seeing that. If you get the chance, give Big Thief a try with that in mind.