By Melena Ryzik, New York Times
Her fall tour for “High as Hope” is her biggest yet, with headlining stops at arenas like the Hollywood Bowl and Barclays Center in Brooklyn. At a preview show at the Brooklyn Academy of Music last month, the stage heaved with flowers and moss and baby’s breath hung overhead, like clouds. Beforehand, she’d joked that the tour “could be called, like, ‘On Nightgowns and Spiritual Confusion’ because that’s what it is, I’m in a nightgown being confused about things in a loud way.”
But when she walked onstage, de-accessorized and barefoot, in a shell-pink lingerie gown and lace-edged bed jacket, there were no doubts. She stalked the floor with the fervor of a preacher, raising her arms in exaltation and executing balletic spins. In the end, she made her way into the crowd, for a communion. “Tell someone you don’t know that you love them,” she instructed. “Make it awkward.”
In real life and in performance, Ms. Welch is looking for connection. “I quite like the idea of putting really big, unanswerable spiritual questions in pop songs,” she’d said earlier. “We can be together in this moment, and celebrate the not-knowing, and perhaps feel closer to each other. We can jump up and down. If you just dance about it, you will feel better.”
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