NXNE Review: Perfect Pussy, Anamai, Frankie Cosmos, June 21, The Great Hall

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Perfect Pussy played the Horseshoe on the Friday night of NXNE. It was a somewhat divisive performance with some loving what they did and others hating it. The Panic Manual was there and Ricky wrote a review of it.  He did not enjoy their set. However, in the interest of fair and balanced reportage (we’re like the Fox News of music blogs that way), here is my take on their set at The Great Hall the following aftenoon.

“We’re on our best behaviour today,” noted Meredith Graves at the beginning of their set. While the previous night may have been plagued with problems, this show went off without a hitch. The sound was good , no speakers were blown out and all of the equipment seemed to be working properly, so those expecting a fiasco of some sort went away disappointed. Or satisfied if they didn’t want a fiasco.  Whatever. Yes, it was still noisy and chaotic and over after about 20 minutes, but it was a controlled chaos.

After Perfect Pussy, the room cleared out a bit and Anamai got things started at the other side of The Great Hall on a makeshift second stage set up on the floor by the bar. In contrast with the previous set, it was a much more laid back affair, but still quite intense in it’s own way. Anamai is the project of Anna Mayberry, who was joined by one other member providing ethereal electronic sounds that added atmosphere to Mayberry’s  dark, folk-based songs. This was one of the most entrancing and most memorable sets of the fest for me. The crowd mostly sat on the floor and gathered around the band in sharp contrast with the moshpit that erupted near the end of Perfect Pussy’s set.

Back on the main stage was Frankie Cosmos, led by Greta Kline, who offered up a set of simple, catchy, twee-ish indie pop that brought to mind a cross between Julie Doiron and Allo Darlin’. Kline kept the banter to a minimum due to the fact that they were playing another show about an hour after this one. Strangely, this afternoon set would be the closest thing the band would play to a “real” showcase at the festival, seeing as how their other two sets were on a streetcar and in a park. It’s cool that the fest is branching out and trying new and different things, but it does seem a bit odd that a band would not get a proper nighttime showcase. Regardless, it was a good show and piqued my interest in hearing more from them.

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Posted on by Paul in North By Northeast

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