Live at Antone’s in Austin, Texas on February 11th, 2022
Photos by Kaushik Kalidindi
Words by Chandler Christopher
First off, it was an honor for us to get to cover these incredible artists at Antone’s Nightclub in Austin, Texas this past week. The combo of Geneveive Stokes and Briston Maroney felt like an unexpected, musical power-duo in which both artists complemented the heck out of each other. The contrast between their shows was volatile, but both were equally captivating, authentic, and graceful in their performances. Some fun facts I want to point out before we get into the concert review:
I texted myself during the show to keep notes, which has been the best thing I can come up with to take notes during a show. In my opinion, it’s lame to be on your phone while artists are on stage performing… But I rationalized that, in this day and age, it would be more lame to bring a pen and notepad to take notes. I mean, what am I, a square? All jokes aside, my friend told me before the show that she saw Briston play at a bar on dirty 6th Street in Austin during SXSW a few years back.. Apparently, he was barefoot for his solo set, and the bar was absolutely empty… But this show has been one that implemented itself in my friend’s mind, now following the philosophy that you never know when or who is about to knock your damn socks off. Oh, also, last thing– Briston got a tattoo of Texas because he “really missed it”… He got the tattoo in Phoenix.
Briston Maroney absolutely ripped his set, playing all of his classics from June to Freakin’ Out on the Interstate. June was my personal favorite that he played, as I stood alongside the multiple people who got up on people’s shoulders during the song. The air and energy within the venue seemed to sit still as he sang the chorus:
Ain’t it funny how I wanted this all my life? Ain’t it funny how I got it here and it don’t seem right? Ain’t it funny how we all want to be someone new? Ain’t it funny how I fell in love and then came June?
This was one of those memorable time capsules during the show where I just completely shut out any other thoughts I was having. To be honest, while usually about things of seemingly low-importance, at times I get anxious in public… I hope some people out there can relate. Sometimes it’s feeling like I might be getting stared at or that maybe I don’t belong at this type of show, etc… It’s those nagging and unnecessary thoughts that can only be worked through with experience, confidence, and inner peace. Now, this isn’t to say that I was feeling anxious throughout the entirety of this show… Even though I am very green at reviewing concerts… However, this moment, as he sang the chorus of June, it was a bit of learning about life for me. What are these times and occurrences that can eliminate thoughts in our heads? Why do they happen? How can I always feel like this?
Briston spoke pretty frequently during the show, seamlessly and humbly giving his fans bits of knowledge about his life and personal success. He explained to us that his grandpa inspired him to work his tail off to get to where he is today, and then thanked us for being at the show. He went on to say, “Us people are the only ones that matter, thank you guys for being here and thank you for being part of a group who loves each other unconditionally.”
Throughout the show, the crowd was super enthusiastic. I overheard many people in conversation who could not wait to see him again after seeing him open up for Mt. Joy in Austin back in October. It goes without a doubt that people love attending Britson Maroney shows, and he absolutely deserves the accumulation of fans he’s experienced over the past couple of years. Briston played many songs off his debut album, Sunflower, but right at the end, Briston nervously played us an unreleased song– Kitchen in the Casket. Boy oh boy, did this song rip? It was amazing, and it was refreshing to see a talented rising star like Briston Maroney be so nervous to play us a song. Briston ended his show by applauding the vulnerability of his opener, Geneveive Stokes, explaining that it takes real guts night-in and night-out to get up on that stage and do what she does as a singer-songwriter.
Geneveive Stokes, who let the crowd know that she was just 21 years old, sat down playing keys for most of her set, beautifully singing intimate ballads paired with low bass and synths and a light snare on most songs. She truly had the voice of an angel, and while many in the crowd were there to see Briston Maroney, it was visual from where I was that she slowly captivated unsuspecting members of the audience one by one. Her band was a three-piece, accompanied by bandmates Fiona Stocks-Lyons and Cashel O’Malley. These two alternated between two instruments each throughout the show, with Fiona switching between drums and guitar and Cashel switching between bass and synth. The combination of the instrumentation and lyrics was mellow, soulful, and powerful at the same time, which I believe will aid Geneveive Stokes in her singer-songwriter journey for years to come. Check out her debut EP Swimming Lessons here!