As I made my way to a place less than a 10-minute walk from my childhood home, I was overwhelmed by some quiet consolation. The streets of Grand Rapids were almost empty, and the sun set over the horizon, engulfing the world in darkness. When I got to The Wealthy Theater, I had to ask if I got the right address. It wasn’t until I walked through the door that I came across other people: a small queue that led to a small counter where we picked up tickets. As I slowly climbed forward, more bodies began to flow down behind me. There was a feeling that we were all entering into something not dedicated to the rest of the world, the expressions of mischievous joy on the faces of some others telling me that I was not alone in that feeling.

I wasn’t even new to this theater and I still felt a little shocked at how small the space inside was. Perhaps it was the ornate decorative balconies on either side of the stage, the way the walls flowed smoothly and smoothly into the ceiling, or the way the black brick wall against the stage looked almost like a huge hole over which a huge hole was plastered. the place enveloped me. It was warm, aggressively intimate, it was the perfect place for Phil Elverum’s performance.

After a while, the eclectic mix of ambient drone and folk music in a language someone would tell me was Greek, faded into the background, and a lonely woman came on stage with a guitar in her hands. With a paper cup of tea at her feet and a hoodie hung over her head, she began to play. As a discoverer Emily Sprague worked hard to solidify her presence at the concert. Playing songs from her project, Florist, its sound was felt halfway between Ruth Garbus and Grouper’s more ambitious guitar outing. She played with a level of introspection that certainly felt appropriate, both for the performance space and as a precursor to The Microphones. In a telephone interview with The Michigan Daily before the tour, Phil Elverum reflected on his benefits for tour partners: “I like the poster, which is very diverse in terms of musical style … I don’t want to do another show that’s more of the same ». At the same time – and this is what he also agreed to – Sprague’s lonely sensibility captures an atmosphere similar to his own.

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