Many students put homework aside on Wednesday night to see indie rock singer-songwriter Briston Maroney play the Jefferson Theater on September 14. opening for Earlier this year, hit alternative folk band Rainbow Kitten Surprise, Maroney is now headlining shows in the US and Europe.
Maroney’s authentic songwriting, raspy voice and ringing guitar create a very distinctive sound that draws audiences from across the state. The concert promoted a warm and homely atmosphere, and the audience was gentle and very friendly. Maroney and his band are very excited to perform
The concert open with Alaskan indie band Medium Build, which definitely suited Maroney’s energy and rustic aesthetic. Their lethargic, methodical sound combined bass and acoustic guitar and an over-and-over synthesizer that grounded the songs.
Both Medium Build and Maroney’s sets were accompanied by smoke and colored lights. Maroney even featured a disco ball for a couple of songs, which shot shards of colorful light around the theater.
Maroney’s latest album Sunflower: Deluxe was released this April and served as an expansion to his 2021 album Sunflower. “Sunflower: Deluxe” contains six new original songs and a revised cover art.
Most of the songs on the setlist came from “Sunflower: Deluxe”, with some standouts like “Freakin’ Out On The Interstate” and his latest single “Paradise”. The setlist was well balanced, with Maroney making time for his heartfelt ballads like “Fool’s Gold” and even ending the evening with “Caroline” – a gentle letter to a childhood version of himself.
“The band and I played [the Jefferson] Exactly one year ago today,” Maroney said. “It was the first time the four of us played all together and we thought we did really badly. So thank you for coming back to see us again.”
Unsurprisingly, audiences especially loved “Freakin’ Out On The Interstate” as a song trending on TikTok and launched Maroney’s music career. Many online musicians began covering the song, and it became popular in online communities that emphasized a nature-loving and carefree aesthetic.
The Knoxville native emphasizes storytelling in his songwriting, making his discography almost feel like reading his journal. Most of his songs have an underlying rock feel to them, but judging by lyrical analysis, they are very thoughtfully written.
“Rollercoaster”, for example, addresses the fear of setting up a party and the feeling of being stuck there. The pre-chorus sounds very tense and anxious until the relief of the all-encompassing chorus kicks in, only to be thrown straight back into a frozen sounding verse. This feeling was amplified during the live performance as Maroney was so passionate that he even pulled away from the mic to belt out the lyrics.
Like many musicians, Maroney is known for his love songs. Maroney, who can certainly relate to college students, often talks about his hesitations when entering into relationships and trying to always do the right thing. In “It’s Still Cool If You Don’t,” he sings, “Well, if you want, maybe we should / I’ll talk if you do, but we don’t have to / I’ll go, if you go, I won’t.” , if you do not want”
His lyrics in “It’s Still Cool If You Don’t” contrast with the track “Freeway,” in which Maroney unabashedly declares his love for a significant other. A lyric in the chorus suggests knocking someone out, so Maroney encouraged the crowd to do that for the song’s chorus.
The July 2022 track “Paradise” is a new interpretation of Maroney’s love for the guitar, but his unalloyed lyricism remains. Addressing the need to remain authentic when one is young, “Paradise” offers a carpe diem attitude with lyrics like “How easy would it be to get past the nine-to-five / A Sandcastle Royale and Seven Seas of Heaven Shinin’? ”
On “Paradise” Maroney and his band really let loose. All four members of the band headbanged, jumped, screamed and jammed.
Maroney described his band as his best friends, and it was clear how much they enjoyed performing together. Totally rocking out, the band seemed lost in the music.
Overall, the concert was very lively and you can tell that the musicians love their job. Maroney possesses a unique talent for expressing his personality on stage while showing his clear musical talent. His headlining US tour will continue through early November 2022.