Beyond Rare, Lauren Ruth Ward, Night Talks, And Holy Wars At The Hi Hat, Tuesday March 7th 2016
Is there a better way to celebrate women on women’s day than to go to a show featuring four bands fronted by females? Probably not, and these girls were real killers.
To be honest I almost missed the set of the first band, and I arrived to hear the last songs of the gentle electronic duo Beyond Rare, all stripped down with Tori Michelle’s bright vocals over a glittering synth. They progressively added beats and even covered Dido’s ‘Thank You’ minus Marshall Mathers, in a more dreamy and ethereal way.
Lauren Ruth Ward was such an interesting surprise, bringing up her own take on outlaw country – although I am not sure her music could fit in any category – looking beautiful and feisty, while kicking the air and stamping her boots. She was boldly pointing at faces, while the music was getting more chaotic, and she was going from vulnerable wide-eyed vocals to ferocious howls. She was bringing a lot of emotion in a short amount of time, a bit as Angel Olsen manages to do it, although sometimes she sounded like a cross between the alt-folk singer and Courtney Barnett. It was difficult to resist to her infectious stomp and emotive delivery while her stage moves were getting more and more dramatic, shaking her body and long mane, kneeling down, she unleashing a serious energy with her striped pants and cute but somehow ruthless demeanor. She concluded her set with a furious and fast song that brought the Hi Hat to a new level… She was truly spectacular and so fun to watch and listen to! After the success of her single ‘Make Love to Myself’, she has an upcoming release party at the Echo on April 9th, and I am very tempted to see her again at this point.
Night Talks were next and the band has a residency at the Hi Hat on Tuesday nights this month, and the band, fronted by Soraya Sebghati and her deep vocals, played a set of dark alt-pop-rock with tumultuous to shimmering guitars. Sebghati’s strong voice dominated the entire set, carried by the powerful and layered sound produced by the quartet behind her — although they were seven on stage. She was going from femme fatale to cute songstress and the whole team was building a booming sound, bold and shadow-y, like an inviting long walk on a summer night. Their debut album ‘In Dreams’ was released on February 10th and if they already had a release party a few weeks ago, they continue the celebration all month-long at the Hi Hat.
Holy Wars have only played two shows, and coincidentally, I have seen both of them, the new band promises to be one of most fun acts to catch live, especially thanks to their fierce frontwoman Kat Leon. They undoubtedly had the darker sound of the night with crashing-shredding guitars, cascading drums and black outfits. I have said it before but Leon has an impressive stage presence, contortionist catwoman or crow of the apocalypse, she is restless on stage and rides the pain with her black makeup and some ferocious Siouxsie and the Banshees howls, installing drama in a few songs. A performance like theirs is sure to take everyone’s breath away, thanks to her magnetic presence and physical prowess, all arms in the air over a wall of distorted fuzz, crawling on stage the next minute, or crouching with her guitar. The experience was gut-and-ear-punching and just the titles of the songs I read from the setlist, could surely give you the tone of the show, ‘I Can’t Feel a Thing’, ‘Warrior’, ‘Back to Life’, ‘Cruel World’, ‘Orphan’, ‘Love is Blindness’. Holy Wars has fund an image, a sound wrapped in a very heavy mystic aura,.. after all we are talking about some holiness shit. They haven’t released anything but they said they have finished recording so we should stay tuned as something will drop soon…
The Hi Hat hosted a night of riotous women, just a day in advance of women’s day, but with the ever increasing amount of female performers or women-fronted bands you can see these days, any day should be women’s day.