It was a good evening when Nashville-based singer-songwriter Briston Maroney took the stage of Highbury and Islington’s infamous venue The Garage on a warm Thursday night. Not only because you always know you’re in for a treat whenever you get the chance to see the indie star perform live, but also because it had been a long and stony road that led to this show finally happening. Firstly planned to take place in January of this year, and after ongoing reschedules, the singer had successfully made his way across the pond to the UK and stood before his excited fans with a big smile on his face and the air of an amazing gig to go down.
Jumping into the set with fan-favourite ‘Bottle Rocket’, the night is off to a phenomenal start, and it’s not long before other hits of the young musician follow, for example, ‘It’s Still Cool If You Don’t’, ‘Deep Sea Diver’, ‘Rollercoaster’ and many more. From the first note onwards, it’s instantly clear why the singer is proudly standing on this stage, with his outstanding voice filling up the packed room and twirling in a mix of sounds together with the electric screams of his passionate crowd. But it’s not just the energy that makes the night unforgettable, but also the little quirks and unique additions to the gig. From asking the audience to take one deep breath in and out with the band to doing a few yoga stretches together – “all that hippie shit”, as Maroney calls it with a laugh – and beautifying the stage with some real sunflowers, it feels like the American musician has successfully found a way to create a wholesome, safe space for everyone and anyone, no matter where his journey takes him.
Closing the set with his ultra-hit ‘Freakin’ Out on the Interstate’ and the beloved ‘Caroline’ as an encore after extensive “one more song” chants from the crowd, it’s clear that this was a show that won’t be forgotten for a long time. Dynamic and captivating, Maroney managed to build a sense of community and liberation that is sure to leave a lasting impression with everyone exiting the venue with happy looks on their faces.
Written by Laura Weingrill // photography by Danica Robinson