Webster Hall Goes Loco for CocoRosie

October 14th, 2013

CocoRosie – Webster Hall – October 12, 2013

For a decade, sisters Bianca “Coco” and Sierra “Rosie” Casady have performed under the combined moniker CocoRosie. Even before Joanna Newsom or Devendra Banhart came onto the scene, these two were early proponents of freak folk, which could be traced back to their estranged father’s fascination with American Indian religion and vision quests. Bianca’s vocals sound a lot like Newsom’s nasal delivery or even Karin Dreijer Andersson’s (of the Knife and Fever Ray), while Sierra offers more of a choral sound. As they took the stage at a sold-out Webster Hall on Saturday night, the sisters Casady brought with them material from their latest release, Tales of a GrassWidow.

The stage was furnished with a vanity table and a clothesline with clothes pinned to it. The articles of clothing would serve as added costumes and props for the evening. With the bass rattling the rafters, older sister Sierra bounced behind her keyboard, pumping up the crowd. Little sis Bianca soon followed, singing the opening to “Child Bride.” Although the sisters and beat-boxer extraordinaire Tez and multi-instrumentalist Tak were all clad in black-and-white-striped tunics, Bianca was the first to discard the piece to reveal a fairytale–like ball gown underneath—just one of her several costume changes.

The many layers of CocoRosie’s compositions were best exemplified with “Harmless Monster” as a gloomy piano accompaniment to Bianca’s singing was heightened with Sierra’s backing vocal and the delicate rhythm of manmade beats. Although original collaborator Anthony Hegarty wasn’t present, their rendition of “Tearz for Animals” elicited cheers as Sierra plucked the first string on her electric blue harp. Halfway through, Tez showcased his beat-boxing prowess. Sierra reemerged with a black tutu and hot pink one-legged tights to croon an Auto-Tuned “Villain.” Moving to older material for the latter part of the set, Bianca had fans bumping to the hip-hop influenced “Smokey Taboo,” from their previous album Grey Oceans. Fans weren’t disappointed when CocoRosie returned for not one but two encores, playing old favorite “Werewolf” and a cover of “Kevin Lyttle’s Turn Me On.” True to the final lyrics of the song, “You got me going crazy,” the ladies had the Webster Hall crowd in a frenzy. —Sharlene Chiu

Photos courtesy of Mina K