My reversed psychology worked. I was convinced they wouldn't make the trip for CMJ. Nope, they came and played about 12 shows in a four days. It reminded me of when the XX played CMJ and it was impossible NOT to see them. Good thing I caught them at Mercury Lounge on Friday night because the free show they did at Pianos apparently was insainly packed. Friday's midnight slot at Mercury was the perfect time to see.
Now, I thought they were odd, but fantastic live band. Lead singer Jehnny Beth (previously of John & Jehn) sings in the zone, like she's in a trance and has an expression of fear on her face. That's the stregth of the live show -- how she hollers, yelps and croon over the band's 80s goth/post-punk tunes. She is completely in control of her emotions as she exorcises her demons on stage. She's just not the loose type. Between songs, she's bashful and barely could muster up a "thank you" and "I love you, too." I'd like to see how she performs a year from now when they are at the top of the British music scene.
The other band members play blanked face, so they do seem to be shy away from the trappings of being over-the-top rock band. That bass player has the chops. She plays heavy and deep, and she gives songs like "No Face", "Flying to Berlin", "I Am Here" and "City's Full". Most of the songs they tore through were new to everyone. They ended with the big rave up, "Husbands". That's where the awesomeless lies. It's got that beat that makes you bang your head hard and then the frenzied parts is ripe for loosing control.
You think that song would make crowd go nuts and people would start knocking into each other. Not so much. This is CMJ where half the crowd are taking photos, videos, checking their phones or just can't be bothered to enjoy a show. At one point, I looked around and I was surrounded by people on their phones taking video, photos to share on Instagram or texting. For once, can't people enjoy shows while they are in the moment. Yesterday's post on Palma Violets where the crowd was going nuts is how the show should have been. Maybe next time around. Coincidentally, Savages and P.V. have giged together in the UK.
I gathered that Savages is the best buzz band that comes out of this year's CMJ. They and Citizens! were the only bands I wanted to see. Once the media people and instagram crowd leave, we can have a proper Savages gig.