Faye Webster Turns Sold-Out Webster Hall into a Rustic Saloon on Tuesday Night

Faye Webster Turns Sold-Out Webster Hall into a Rustic Saloon on Tuesday Night

March 02, 2022

Faye Webster – Webster Hall – March 1, 2022

I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what I think the pedal steel in Faye Webster’s music is there for. It’s a signpost for genre, of course: It summons the country and western milieu, as reliably as other dusty and kitschy textures she favors, like twinkling Rhodes pianos and a deep, thumping electric bass. On Tuesday night, it drew the crowd gathered for Webster’s sold-out appearance at Webster Hall (no relation) into an hour-long saloon slow dance. The sense of setting is important for her lyrics, which are heart-eyed and lost, and her forlorn squeak of a voice.

But Webster doesn’t really write about life on the prairie, or even windswept hair on cross-country drives. Instead, she lets that pedal steel, played achingly by Matt “Pistol” Stoessel live as on record on 2021’s I Know I’m Funny Haha, ooze all over songs about conversations, connections and lost love. The images in Webster’s world are as nostalgic as any pastoralist memory, but they’re unabashedly digital. On Tuesday night she covered the song “7PM,” from the Animal Crossing: New Leaf video-game soundtrack, complete with the game’s gibberish vocoder chirp, and on Instagram she made tour announcements using the defunct Nintendo DS messaging software PictoChat.

But when she shook her mop top while thrashing with her guitar onstage or lit up Webster Hall’s disco ball with amber light for an encore of “Kingston,” from 2019’s Atlanta Millionaires Club, you could hear Webster’s nostalgic sound imbue even those digital memories with the Tammy Wynette tragic drama that Faye Webster specializes in. She returned tearfully to the stage after a much-reshuffled tour schedule and a bout with laryngitis and brought the sold-out crowd into that eternal sunset. —Adlan Jackson | @AdlanKJ

Please rotate your device