Boy – Webster Hall – October 4, 2013
If you google boy and band, you’re bound to get links for ’N Sync or the Backstreet Boys. So searching for the Swiss-German duo called Boy can be challenging. First off, neither member is male. However their music does offer bubblegum pop sensibilities. Swiss miss Valeska Steiner and German Sonja Glass met in Hamburg at (no joke) a pop-music course almost a decade ago. They found success in Germany, and their full-length debut, Mutual Friends, released earlier this year, has them primed to enchant America.
On a summerlike Friday evening, the twosome brought their folk-tinged harmonies to Webster Hall. Opening with fan favorite “Drive Darling,” Steiner’s chirpy vocals appropriately welcomed the crowd: “You close the door and start the motor.” The group’s engine was revved with two drummers and a keyboardist. “Waitress” incited claps, and the audience was encouraged to dance during the toe-tapping “Oh Boy.” Steiner debunked the myth of Swiss manners, offering “Boris” as an example in which a fellow bar patron offers: “Come back, don’t bore me, you can’t just ignore me.” The cowbell and the melodica were brought out for “Skin.” Onlookers joined in to sing “la la la” on “Silver Streets” before the pair ended the main set with their hit single, “Little Numbers.”
Returning to the stage promptly for an encore, they unveiled the yet-to-be released “Into the Wild,” followed by a rousing cover of the Black Keys’ “Lonely Boy.” To cap off the night, opener Greg Holden joined in on “Waltz for Pony,” which he’d practiced for the first time earlier that day. He had one last listen onstage via smartphone, then chimed in on background doo-wop vocals with the drummers. Contrary to the nursery rhyme, Boy were sugar, spice and everything nice. —Sharlene Chiu