I should have written about this show right after it happened. I’ve been playing catch-up. But anyway… Warpaint!
I first heard about Warpaint from a couple of my New York Interpol friends. They described Warpaint as an all-female band that comes out on stage looking really pretty, and then rocks really hard. Another friend mentioned them shortly after that. After our trip to Pennsylvania, I was going through a bit of show withdrawal, and when I heard that Warpaint were playing at Great Scott the night of our return, I wanted to go. We got home just in time for me to pull together my camera and batteries and get to Great Scott before the show sold out.
The first opener, Beach Fossils, sounded very poppy to me–jangly 80s-conscious stuff, which is apparently all the rage at the moment. It didn’t do too much for me, but they weren’t atrocious. What they looked like (silly and 80s conscious) struck me about as much as their music… not much –AND their whole vibe made me feel old.
Javelin made me feel old in a different way. With Beach Fossils, I could get why people would like it. Javelin just seemed totally foolish to me–like they were getting away with something by pretending to be musical, cool, or even interesting. The first thing they brought on stage was a tower of big old broken (except for one, I think) neon spray-painted boom boxes. Oh boy. Their sound was just a mish-mash of samples and knob-twiddling and falling-apart (literally) percussion. Samples and knob-twiddling and percussion can result in something good, but this did not. It felt sloppy. Like Beach Fossils, I guess Javelin are considered up and coming. I thought they were embarrassing and pretty terrible.
After those two openers, I might have expected Warpaint to be a disappointment, but they weren’t at all. I think the evening’s line-up was a real mis-match. Warpaint are going out with The XX in the near future, and that tour makes more sense to me. The vocals and the music come from a much deeper, darker place than anything that Beach Fossils or Javelin offer up. My friends who told me I’d be impressed by their musical chops were right on. These chickies can play. They’re really pretty badass. At least a few of them are multi-instrumenatalists. The bassist and drummer switched places after the first song, and at the end of the encore three of the four band members went at it on the drum kit–and what resulted was a controlled chaos, not just mere chaos.
Their first full-length, The Fool, is set to drop October 26th (October 25th in the UK). I’m looking forward to seeing them again at the Orpheum October 3rd.