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Friday, December 03, 2010

Warpaint, Rewards & Family Band at Music Hall of Williamsburg 12/3/10



Family Band
I’ve been a fan of Warpaint for a few years now and have always wondered when they would gain the attention of the masses. Well if tonight’s second sold-out show was any indication of the ladies’ achievements, I think it’s beyond safe to say they have finally reached a very solid fan base.

The show opened with Brooklyn-based Family Band, who jammed a pretty decent set of mellow, melodic tunes. Vocalist and guitarist Kim Krans held her ground and put on a solid yet understated performance.

Next up was Aaron Pfenning’s (formerly of Chairlift) new project called Rewards. He performed guitar and vocal duties, while he had a female bassist and drummer, and Lightspeed Champion’s Dev Hynes added additional guitar and background vocals and harmonies. The band started with some technical difficulties, and Pfenning attempted to engage the audience by interacting and making some jokes, but he wasn’t able to connect, and their set never really took sail. The band has some really beautiful songs, like “Two Cardinals” and “I Used To,” saturated with beautiful guitar textures and catchy hooks—despite the bass line on “I Used To” being so very similar to The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” I’ll chalk it up to a bad show, and would be very surprised if Pfenning and crew don’t gain some lofty attention early in the new year.

Warpaint finally took the stage, and the four lovely ladies busted into a rocking track off their new album, The Fool, titled “Bees.” They then played an epic version of “Stars” off their EP. The lights went low, and little star lights filled the ceiling and stage as the band added some breaks and solos to the tune. Further into the set, the crowd was treated to their new single off The Fool, “Undertow.” The band once again shined and added some more nice breaks and fills. Other gems included “Warpaint,” “Majesty,” and “Burgundy,” and after an epic version of “Elephants,” the gals left the stage.

They came back out for an encore and performed “Set Your Arms Down” and “Beetles.” My only gripe is they didn’t perform “Billie Holiday.” I’ve seen them perform five times, and only once saw them perform it live, during the first show I saw them at in L.A. The girls’ vocals and guitar chops have really improved over the years, and Jenny Lee Lindberg’s bass playing is always a treasure to my ears, but the recently recruited drummer, Stella Mozgawa, was absolutely phenomenal. She was so amazingly tight with the band and added all kinds of playful parts and fills. All the girls should be congratulated on their A-game performance.

Words and Pics By Kevin Serra

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