After leaving Brooklyn on a Wednesday and arriving bright and early on Friday in a land where kangaroos outnumber humans 3:1, I’m heading to watch a Brooklyn band my first night. How lame? Yeah… fuck you, it’s the Vivian Girls, and it’s their first tour down under, so why not go. Right? Right!
They played a venue called Spectrum in Surry Hills, an “artsy” neighborhood mixed with preppy/jocky club types. Imagine Williamsburg five years from now, with ticket prices to the tune of $30 dollars AUS. If you’re not familiar with the conversion rate to USD, a $30 ticket is a fucking lot to pay for a show, but the kids here must have money, as the place was packed wall to wall when Vivian Girls took the stage.
In sweet Aussie fashion they pretty much kicked “arse” and brought life to their sophmore album Everything Goes Wrong, weaving in and out of songs that knocked the jet lag right out and went smooth with a beer in hand. It was refreshing to see diverse demographics – a cute older asian couple in the front row, a group of raver looking dudes seriously mouthing all the words, fratty kids who’d dig Applebees if that existed here, along with the regular “marry me” cat calls.
Those who call this stuff a messy wash are missing something. Live, Vivian Girls wear their hearts out, put their baggage on the table, and make it really hard not to fall in love with their skuzzy guitar sounds; my own heart almost sank listening to Cassie sing “Before I Start To Cry.” And somehow their stage presence conveys something communal even if they look down a lot: when Katy walked off stage straight towards me mid-song with bass in hand my wishful thinking said she was playing it just for me. Conclusion being, if you’ve ever been to a Vivian Girls show and managed to make it through without feeling a single tingle of emotion, aside from your nether regions, you’re really lame.