Opening with Forth Wanderers and the solo act Land of Talk
at Brooklyn Steel this past Thursday evening, February 8th was so relaxed and intimate, it felt like they had invited the audience to their apartment and we were hanging out in their living room.
Forth Wanderers, a 5-piece indie rock band, warmed up the crowd with some chill lo-fi pop tunes, sounding like LVL UP and (Sandy) Alex G. Periodically sipping from her plastic cup of beer, the front woman even paused for a moment to ask if anyone in the audience had a Juul ("I lost mine and I'm on day two without one!"), creating a funny and casual ambience that managed to last the whole evening. Chill vibes continued with Land of Talk, a single woman by the name of Elizabeth Powell jammin' on her electric guitar in a flannel and a trucker hat. She played us some more upbeat and noisy tunes--a highlight was "Some Are Lakes", sounding like a slightly whinier and more stripped-down version of the band that was to come, Girlpool.
Girlpool came out in a haze of blue light and to a ton of cheering, the front women Cleo Tucker and Harmony Dividad looked punk rock as ever with pink hair and cargo pants. Even though they're a pretty well-known band and have been on stages far bigger than Brooklyn Steel, they managed to make the whole show feel intimate and close--despite the noisy punk-rock sound they sometimes produce, and that their newest album Powerplant
is certainly known for. Playing through a series of tunes from Powerplant, including "123" and "It Gets More Blue", the two women jammed out unapologetically before moving onto the title track of the album (the crowd loved that one). Before going on this tour, the band had put out a request on Instagram that someone make them a mix-CD because the car they were driving in on tour did not have an aux-cord and the radio wasn't working out. Someone at the front of the crowd actually had one and they took it from the audience member and thanked them, like we were all just hanging out in their garage or backyard, trading music, having a good time.
After this they played "Static Somewhere" off of Powerplant
, to flashing lights and a roaring audience. They sent away the drummer and bassist then, to play "Ideal World" and "I Like That You Can See It", and the crowd sang along. It was very powerful to be surrounded by so many people singing "tranquilize me with your ideal world" and "my mind is almost 19 and I still feel angry"; I'm sure I was not the only one tearing up in that crowd. For the encore they came back and sang "Chinatown", both singers closing their eyes and captivating everyone. It was intense.
The whole experience felt like wandering into the coolest-ever basement concert, where the singers just read the lyrics straight out of their diary. Catch their latest single released this past week, "Picturesong", and the rest of their tour, mostly just around California and the West Coast. If you're looking for a pretty hype time in someone's living room, this band is for you.