Show Reviews: Girls at the Bluebird Theater
Girls came to the Bluebird to play songs off their dreamy, narcotic album simply entitled Album. While the sleepy album doesn’t provide for many explosive, bowl-you-over moments performed live, Christopher Owens, JR, and crew delicately kept the crowd captivated with their fuzzy, sad-pretty songs.
As my friend Ric pointed out at the show, one of the biggest draws to seeing Girls live is seeing the enigma of Christopher Owens in the flesh. Even before knowing he spent his childhood traveling around with the Children of God cult, he’s simply one of those artists whose work and persona automatically intrigued me, from his wealth of unique creativity, to his sad songs, to the band’s excellently NSFW hardcore version of the “Lust for Life” video (you think we’d write about Girls without posting this?):
As a girl, I even get a kick out of his style and his hair, and I kinda wanna dress like him. On this night he was sporting his trademark crimpy hair to the side, whitewashed jeans, and a green-flowered sweatshirt that a teenage girl from the ’90s might wear. And it perfectly suited him.
Though I got the feeling the band wasn’t trying to blow the judges away on the performance portion of the show, they also didn’t seem to be neglectful of their audience; it just felt like a meditative experience, which makes sense in the context that despite Owens’ not being religious, playing music as a spiritual experience was something the band did take from his time with the Children of God.
One mind-blowing moment was “Hellhole Ratrace,” a song that begins as a lonely refrain and works up to this triumphant glory that piles layers upon layers of fuzz and melody. That climax carried a rippling wave of emotion that reverberated the core as Owens sang, “Sometimes you just gotta make it for yourself.” Here stood someone who had been trapped in unhappiness before, but was at least trying to escape it, even if just with a song. It’s relatable even to a snarkster like me.
They played another super loud, fuzzy punk song after “Hellhole Ratrace” that I had never heard before and effing loved. Then during “Lust for Life,” the sugary super-happy openers the Magic Kids came onstage to sing along and it was a little party. Also PS– we heard the Smith Westerns were awesome, but missed them cuz they went on first.
These pics Father Guido took are fuzzy, but so is Girls’ music; so enjoy!
“Lust for Life” party onstage
You must be thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis tall to be an opening band for Girls.