Cirque Royal, Brussels, Belgium
15th March 2015
Warpaint & The Garden
The WARPAINT concert should have taken place in November 2014 but it was rescheduled to 15th March 2015 in the wonderful venue of the Cirque Royal (Royal Circus) in Brussels. I had already seen WARPAINT at the Rock-en-Seine festival in Paris and I was eager to see them perform a complete show.
The supporting act was THE GARDEN, an American duo based in Orange County, California. Established in 2011 by twin brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears, the band defies categorization and calls their music “Vada Vada” (sic). I would call it punk/ garage/ big beat. On stage, the line-up is minimal: one of the twins plays drums and the other, bass and they both sing. The bass is played like a guitar, which gives the duo a very big sound. They constantly exchange instruments and their songs are short and powerful. They keep moving around the stage, making jokes and playing like kids. The show is raw, dirty and immediate. Fun! (more info: http://thegardentwins.com)
WARPAINT is an all-female band from Los Angeles, formed in 2004. The song 'Love Is To Die' revealed them to the “indie” public last year and their second album, 'Warpaint', confirmed their undeniable craftsmanship. On the stage, Theresa Wayman Becker, a very pretty brunette by the way, is usually placed on the left. She sings, plays guitar and (a little) keyboards. Emily Kokal, the second main singer and guitarist, is on the right. The bassist, Jenny Lee Lindberg, and the drummer, Stella Mozgawa, position themselves behind. At the back of the stage, a huge banner represents the cover of the WARPAINT album. It's difficult to describe WARPAINT's music: it is a kind of psychedelic indie-rock, with cold wave and drone accents. It evokes AUSTRA, BEACH HOUSE, BAT FOR LASHES, THE CURE and BJÖRK. The vocal harmonies are fundamental and most of the songs have a funky, quite dancing groove, mainly due to Jenny Lee Lindberg's very subtle bass licks. http://www.warpaintwarpaint.com / https://www.facebook.com/warpaintwarpaint
Music & Performance
The band started the show with 'Warpaint' and the excellent 'Undertow', with its very sensual rhythm. But the first highlight was undoubtedly ‘Love Is To Die’, during which Theresa Wayman abandoned her guitar and came to the front of the stage to sing. She tried to motivate the public to move and to participate but as a whole, the audience was quiet, enjoying the moment without too much expression. Then came 'Composure' and the new song 'No Way Out', which received a nice success. They played the long version, not the “redux” version, which allowed the band to indulge in a nice jam at the end. With an average duration of 5 to 6 minutes, their live versions usually involve many changes of rhythm, a kind of 'prog' aspect which is inherent in WARPAINT's style. “Sunday is also a day on which we can party!”, proclaimed Emily Kokal. The last part of the show included a series of hits like 'Keep It Healthy' and 'Disco//Very' and the set ended a beautiful rendering of 'Elephants', but without the usual outro improvisation.
When the band came back for the encore, Emily Kokal asked the public to participate and cried like a wolf. The audience responded but here again, without big enthusiasm. The two last songs, ‘Bees’ and ‘Biggy’ were well received and the girls left the stage under the audience's acclaim. A very nice concert, but it lacked a bit of enthusiasm both on stage and in the public. Everybody was probably tired at the end of the weekend! But as a whole, the four ladies gave a great show. They always seem happy to play and sometimes, they look like four little girls who still like to sing and to make jokes. Thanks to their music, we were immersed in a unique atmosphere, like a mysterious dream illuminated by psychedelic melodies and sounds.
03. Love Is to Die
05. No Way Out
07. Keep It Healthy
Total: 7.5 / 10
Organised by Botanique & Live Nation
All pictures by Creeping Mac Kroki (http://creepingmackroki.be/)
Live Review: Warpaint - Brussels 2015
- Written by: Phil Blackmarquis
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