Molly Payton Whammy Bar April 22, 2023 (Concert Review)

Molly Payton

Molly Payton is back from London to play to a hometown crowd with a band. It’s the first time for the young indie-rocker in quite a while.

It’s Saturday night and Whammy Bar is buzzing. The show is sold out and arriving just after 9pm, opening act Park Rd are already on stage.

Park Rd

Park RdThe 5-piece is making a good, loud racket, quite necessary because this crowd seems hell-bent on making a lot of noise themselves.

We hear I Got You (not that one), the one from their Stupid Stories EP, along with their next single, Ride. The set closes with Lie and the audience is pumped to see Molly Payton.

Maybe too pumped.

Molly Payton

Molly and her band take the stage just before 10, seemingly have a last-minute soundcheck before Molly tells her guitarist, “we’re starting, baby”, and the quartet starts their set with You Cut Me So Much Slack, from the 2021 album, Slack.

“Hello everyone, how are you doin’? asks Molly.

Molly PaytonThe crowd kind of responds but continues chattering away.

Molly is unfazed and rips into Accelerate, a new song…mid-tempo, chugging indie rocker.

“Do you know any blues songs” comes a call from the crowd?

“That’s not what we’re here for”, notes Molly somewhat taken aback by the random request.

Yes, there seems to be a slight disconnect between the band, the crowd and the venue. But hey, no one seems too bothered by it.

By now, I’m thinking this show should be at someplace like The Tuning Fork, where the audience is more inclined to listen than to party. That thought is reinforce when Molly sings Handle, which she intros as “the saddest song in the world”.

The crowd chatters and the band plays on.

January Summers is more upbeat and finally things are coming together, but only briefly.

Molly PaytonTwo more quiet ones follow and it’s clear that Molly is struggling to hear herself, at one point apologizing for not hearing what key her band is playing in.

Sadly, I couldn’t hear her band mates intros only catching that “Scotty” was on guitar.

All-in-all though everyone seemed to be in good spirits and Honey, the set-closer almost erupted as a singalong.

We get two encores, despite demands for “one more song!” with older tunes Corduroy and How To Have Fun closing things out just before 11.

Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves but I would have liked to hear the music more and the crowd less.

Marty Duda

Click on any image to view a photo gallery by Brenna Jo Gotje:

Molly Payton:

Park Rd:
Molly Payton setlist:
  1. You Cut Me So Much Slack
  2. Accelerate
  3. Handle
  4. In Your Arms
  5. January Summers
  6. Throw Over
  7. Get Back To You
  8. Ruins
  9. Do It All The Same
  10. While You’re Driving
  11. Honey
  12. Corduroy
  13. How To Have Fun
Marty Duda
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