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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Girls & Dum Dum Girls at Mr. Small's

CONCERT REVIEW: Girls & Dum Dum Girls

Mr. Small's

April 5, 2010

It's always fun when a band member slips into the audience to watch his opening act. Christopher Owens, songwriter and lead singer for San Francisco band Girls, did just that on Monday to witness the entire opening set from Dum Dum Girls.

Dum Dum Girls are a band on the rise and they delivered an impressive set of moody rock with vocal harmonies, with the songs ranging from grungy to poppy. The up-tempo "Don't Talk" was a great closing number.

While Owens stood in the modest crowd of 200 to 300 near the merch table, a handful of people came up to say hello, but most people seemed not to notice him. He was quite a bit more noticeable minutes later when Girls took the stage.

The band opened with one of its slowest songs, "Solitude." A Girls live show is more laid-back than one might expect, but that makes sense given that the lyrics are the main focus of the group's songs. There's no need for screeching guitars or a massive drum solo to overpower the words.

"Laura" and "Lust for Life" were well-received, but the clear highlight was the epic "Hellhole Retrace," which took off at the end as the restraint the band had seemingly been building all show finally exploded.

Girls' performance was relaxed but not unenthusiastic. They closed their three-song encore with the mellow "Life in San Francisco." This is the kind of band that always skips Pittsburgh, so it was great to see them make an appearance, even if the size of the venue wasn't a perfect fit.

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