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A Man and His Guitar

Moses Sumney at The Pageant


On April 24th at The Pageant, Moses Sumney quietly took the stage. No band members followed, his only set pieces being an electric guitar and three microphones.
“I just want everyone to do this with me,” he said as he reached his hands up and brought them down, a hiss of air escaping his lips like he was about to lead us in a yoga session. “I’m Moses Sumney, clearly not Local Natives,” he laughed before stepping towards the microphone on his left.
From the first note he sang, periodically building the sound with harmonies no human voice should have been able to muster, this was clearly no ordinary opening act. The songs without the loop machine were quiet and lamenting, the kind you wanted to listen to on a rainy day, with his falsetto lulling you to sleep. And right about the time you wanted to lean on the person standing behind you, he put his guitar down and performed a fast paced song entirely with his voice.
“I didn’t write this song, it’s by a band called Majical Cloudz and they’re awesome,” he humbly said and launched into their song “Childhood’s End.” He started with the rhythm and built the song upwards, his voice moving so fast at times that the accuracy was impeccable. There would be moments where the accompaniment would cut out altogether to emphasize a line he would sing, and with a push of a button it would accurately come back in underneath him, a swarming, growing sound, that somehow changed with the song even though technically it stayed exactly the same.
It was his first tour. He had never even been to St. Louis, being a Los Angeles native. His only merchandise was a 7” vinyl featuring two songs, and a cassette tape for his new EP “Mid City Island,” which he played during his set.
There are rare moments when you go to a show and the opener surprises you. You somehow forget whom you really came for and you find yourself getting lost in the music you used to wish would just get over with. It was clear Moses Sumney was one of these rare cases. Watch out for that name because this first tour will most definitely not be his last.