Some GirlsJanuary 16th, 2012
Girls – Terminal 5 – January 14, 2012
In case you’re wondering, yes, there are some girls in the hard-to-Google band Girls, three old-school-style backup singers who stood on their own riser and added plenty of oomph to a sold-out show at Terminal 5 on Saturday night. The singers, dressed in matching, flashy tank tops, were just one part of a variety of fashion styles on display by the San Francisco band, which included lead singer Christopher Owens in a skirt, bass player JR White in a leather jacket and a stage decorated with dozens of floral arrangements like a DIY wedding reception. The range of musical styles was just as wide, as Girls worked material from the acclaimed Father, Son, Holy Ghost album.
The set began with high energy, one of the singers screaming, “Are you ready!? Put your hands together,” like she were introducing a soul revue. The crowd responded to the bouncing music by pogo-ing in unison. The middle stretch was decidedly more mellow and lo-fi, with lots of doo-wop throwback and sing-alongs galore. As the energy worked its way back, song-by-song, it was clear that for all the accoutrements, this was truly an old-fashioned rocking guitar band at heart. The guitar playing was like a highlighter on a page of text, making sections pop out, sparking contrast and adding color with subtle riffs and some well-placed slide.
Finally, just when it seemed like Girls had shown all they had, the singer who had earlier hyped the crowd gave an “Are you ready?” scream and the band launched into the heavy Bowie-esque “Die.” It felt like the previous three-quarters of the show had been a warm-up for a completely different band, one that rattled the room with a new energy as the floor became a trampoline once again. —A. Stein