Full Disclosure: I went to the legendary Bitter End last night expecting to pay to see the Girls. Instead, I was comped and got in free. That was one of the nicest things ever done for me! Thanks, Harold!
So the soon-to-be-Monster-Hit group Girls Don’t Cry appeared for a third time at The Bitter End.
And the place was packed.
I despaired of getting a seat, then a table opened up right in front of the stage and I got it. I sat alone for the entire set! (I guess my facial expression these days tends towards Welcome to the Anti-Social!)
The Girls were following some chi-chi songwriting/singing workshop of some sort that I didn’t want to hear (all I saw through the window were, yawn, acoustic guitars and people playing them while, yawn, being seated!). So the Girls had to set up their instruments from scratch.
Wow. I thought the back of a high-end PC was a mass of cables. It’s nothing compared to all the wires the Girls have to hook up! Microphones, synths, guitars, amps. And the drum set. And once plugged in, there’s all this adjusting to do to get them in the feel-good position. And the guitars have to be tuned. It was a lot of work! Imagine having to set up maybe ten PCs — and then network them (Macintosh owners, with their unfair simplicity advantage, don’t get to play this game!). At one point, I saw a power strip plugged into another power strip!
Then it was discovered that Rachael’s main synth had died. They had to use another synth. Rachael’s synth is — well, now was — about 4-feet long. Its replacement was a six-foot aircraft carrier! That it didn’t tilt and fall or collapse the stand even during vigorous playing was a spectacle in itself!
There were the Girls:
Hannah (guitar) removing her long-sleeved top (she had a sleeveless one underneath!), because she always works up a sweat during a gig.
Sora (guitar) hanging off to the side, looking mysterious and cool (she can’t help it!).
Rachael (keyboards) treating everyone to a six-inch circular view of her right knee beneath her jeans (and it was cold last night!).
Liz (drums) with a bouquet of pretty flowers resting atop her bass drum (hmmm…!).
And Caitlin (bass guitar) hanging off at the other side, looking shy as usual (it’s a trick!).
Ah, this is what I’d been wanting to hear for several weeks. I’d missed two of their past shows.
They blasted that place!
In-between songs, Hannah mentioned their myspace page (with Liz pointing out she personally had three of them!), and Sora nearly got away with telling two of her trademark Bad Jokes (someone knew the punchline of the second one!).
Hannah donned sunglasses during
Frankie Is A Chick Jen & Franky — and promptly forgot the song’s lyrics! (Or at least she claimed she did.) As usual, she tried to collapse the stage with her foot stomping. (Does she secretly want to do drums?)
Liz — who actually does do the drums — was a Force of Nature. She makes it look so easy too. Liz: make it look hard! It sounds like it’s hard. (All right you lot reading this, heads out of the gutter!)
Sora with opening lead guitar and vocals on If I Could Be You instantly switches from being cool to red hot.
Rachael and her keyboard have a rest during the opening verses of As We Go On.
Caitlin adding to the fantastic vocal harmony of Beautiful Thoughts — wherein the Girls crush every single “girl’s band” that ever existed and ever will exist. It is something that must be experienced.
I was told three Great Things about the Girls:
1) They will not be doing any covers for their debut album. When I heard doing covers was a possibility, I got very cranky. The Girls have a Sound. It shouldn’t be tainted by doing songs other group are well-known for. (I will admit, however, to at one point suggesting that if a cover had to be done, the Girls would do a hell of job on The Smiths’ How Soon Is Now).
2) Two of the Girls are pianists.
3) Three of the Girls play sax!
Those last two open up some very intriguing possibilities. I keep thinking of what ABBA did with piano. What would a piano be like in the hands of the Girls? And sax, well, damn, they’ll blow out the windows when they play!
There is, however, one thing I’ve grown to just hate about seeing the Girls live in person: it’s over too soon!
With my dinky el-cheapo jWin MP3 player, I can have the Girls singing in my ears for hours (and I have! — and yes, you should be jealous!). On stage, it’s 9 songs, about an hour, and it’s all over til the next time. I can’t say, “Wait! I’d like to hear each of those songs five more times!”
Anyway, if I did tell the Girls that, I’d probably get killed by them.
But it’d be a great way to go!
For prior coverage and past mentions of the Girls, see the Categories sidebar — they have their own Category!