Warpaint Bring the Party to Webster Hall

March 24th, 2014

Warpaint – Webster Hall – March 21, 2014

The Los Angeles quartet Warpaint has undergone several transformations over the past decade. Childhood friends Theresa Wayman and Emily Kokal started the group with sisters Shannyn Sossamon (the actress and sometime DJ) and Jenny Lee Lindberg. Sossman departed in 2009 to welcome the current drummer, Stella Mozgawa, and their debut, The Fool, arrived in the fall of 2010. Following their latest release, a self-titled sophomore effort, Mozgawa revealed in an interview how touring together for years and listening to hip-hop shaped a departure from their original sound: “We weren’t really a band until we took everything on the road. And we refined who we were and made very difficult and important decisions as a group as to what our MO is, and how we want to sound and how we wanted to present ourselves and making more particular decisions on the next round.”

With a pedigree of tour experience under their belts, the ladies took the stage at a sold-out Webster Hall on Friday night to a drumming intro thanks to Mozgawa. Front-row revelers showered the stage with long-stemmed red roses as Lindberg was the last to step onstage. Beginning with an oldie from The Fool, Wayman rang in with “Your full moon taunts me” on ‘“Bees.” The foursome played largely from their latest album, including tracks “Keep It Healthy,”  “Hi,” “Feeling Alright” and “Biggy.” And Kokal and Lindberg grooved over each other for “Composure.” The former not only provided driving vocals, but also jarring dance moves especially accentuated by her lanky frame.

Moving from the new “No Way Out” to the Exquisite Corpse EP’s “Billie Holiday,” the girls had fans eating out of the palm of their hands. Kokal crooned the first lines of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” as an interlude before “Undertow.” And nearing the set’s close, she playfully called, “Hey, you guys” in the tone of The Goonies before readying the crowd to dance to “Disco//Very.” As a final treat, Warpaint returned to encore with “Elephants.” Upon its conclusion, Lindberg encouraged fans to join them at the after-party downstairs in the Studio, and it wasn’t a surprise that the masses followed. —Sharlene Chiu