RICKSHAW STOP, SF
26 MAY, 2014
|Perfect Pussy (Meredith Graves)|
Fighting against Memorial Day traffic, I landed in The City and made the venue most of the way through the second act Wild Moth, and was really sorry to miss opener Crabapple. Heralded by the strains of Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra", known these days primarily as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Perfect Pussy was a controlled detonation, a combination of chaotic skronk and shifting textures of noise, overseen by lead vocalist Meredith Graves, in a stunning cross between testifying and exorcism. Not since the salad days of At The Drive-In have I seen a band operate at this energy level. Interestingly, given Graves' intense stage persona, (shades of Robert Mitchum in Night Of The Hunter), the singer offstage was upbeat and enthusiastic when meeting her fans, and if there's one judgemental thumbnail to be applied: It's always a good sign when one can't find a phone in her bag because it's buried under books.
Opening acts can be a tightrope, and it's a major credit to Potty Mouth that, especially at this young stage of their career, they could hit the stage after such a band, and claim the crowd as their own. From the heart of the Pioneer Valley in Western Mass., guitarists Abby and Ali, and the rhythm section of Ally and Victoria on bass and drums, respectively, are touring off of their debut LP, Hell Bent, which followed a 2012 EP, Sun Damage. Hearing the songs from both take off live was a real treat, and their unstinting energy and self-deprecating stage manner made for a winning combination. Early in the set, they knocked out "Dog Song", the tune that first brought them to my attention, and my night was made from there on out. Their gift for a punky hook serves them well, and the growth between the EP and album is appreciable, and it will be fascinating to see where they go from here. Stay tuned for part two, from Los Angeles...