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« Our Favorite Acts at Pitchfork Music Fest 2013 Pitchfork Music Festival 2013: Friday »

Review Sat Jul 20 2013

Review: Savages & Sky Ferreira @ Lincoln Hall, 7/19

There are usually two ways things can go when opening acts bring the bar down. One, the headliner can seem incredible by comparison to what preceded them; two, it can just wear out an audience. Friday night for Savages' Pitchfork aftershow at Lincoln Hall, it seemed things would head in the latter direction for much of the night. But you never know for sure until the end.

Sky Ferreira kicked off the evening with a delightful set that ran from intimate, downtempo Americana-ish tracks to practically synthpop. Her voice worked with everything she sang, but she had more fun on the uptempo songs when the crowd showed some life. For a young performer, she had a very strong stage presence and appeared to know exactly what she wanted out of her music. At one point, she stopped her guitarist to have him play slower and then started the song all over again to get it right from the start. Her full-length isn't due until 2014, but she has the makeup to break out once it comes around.

As good as her set was, though, what came next was sort of a mess. Björk played a predictably off-beat set of music from her iPhone and Johnny Hostile played 20 minutes of guitar noise followed by ten minutes of atmospherics. Before Savages went on at 12:45, pockets of the crowd had already left and more were grumbling.

Three songs into Savages, it seemed like everyone was on fumes because the band wasn't really connecting with the audience. But then it came together midway through. Jehnny Beth's Ian Curtis-like tics became endearing. Gemma Thompson's intense guitar-playing shined. And the rhythm section was completely in synch on their angular post-punk. The back half from "No Face" until "Husbands" gave the indications that Savages' immense hype isn't overblown. Beth paced the stage, went all in on her Siouxsie Sioux-like vocals and played to the pogoing carousers. When Savages suddenly came to a stop after playing nearly all of their music in 45 minutes, it seemed like they were on the verge of stepping into the next gear. But I guess they left something in the tank for Union Park.

 
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danielle harpy / July 20, 2013 4:58 PM

To say that Bjork's DJ set was off-beat is a huge understatement. It was hateful. torturous. Not music, but the sound of chainsaws on trees, jackhammers on cement and at a volume that was like hitting our heads with a hammer. It did not nothing but make me angry that she was so anti-human.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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