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Hype: It's no surprise British electro-pop sensation Victoria Hesketh (aka Little Boots) gained fame for posting covers on YouTube of songs like Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill" and then hit it big--in the U.K.--with her own (with help from a Bird and the Bee and a Hot Chip) oh-so-catchy single "Stuck on Repeat." Her voice is breathtaking.
The Show: The venue was silent as the lights dimmed purple, hot and scented with heavy perfume in the smoggy air. Hesketh waltzed to the back of the stage with a large hood, her head pointed low to the ground. Her band followed her through the darkness, all mysteriously caped in black. The white lights blasted her face, pink-cheeked and bright-eyed while she pressed the piano lines to her song, "Ghost." Dripping with darkness she sang, "Do you even know that I'm here. I might as well be a ghost. It's true you walk right through me."
Peeling off her cape, Hesketh stripped to a black tank, jeweled belt and hip-hugging mini shorts with black leggings. She grasped the microphone in one hand and flicked her platinum dyed hair. She belted her album opener, "New In Town," with raged vengeance on stage. In a sudden burst of courage, she thrust her body into slinky motions, clapping her hands to the jingle of the tambourine. It's clear she loves performing, each sound beautifully arranged in a youthful, spirited fashion.
The lights streamed in a rainbow of green, purple and blue. Hesketh banged on her keytar, while fists pumped in the air. Her innate knack for songwriting captured the essence of her lyrics to "Symmetry," with riveting words she echoed on stage: "The shadow I cast and the echo I make, the calm to my storm and the lesson to my mistakes."
With the Yamaha Tenori-on and synthesizer on stage and the stylophone around her neck, the pop experimentation was on overload. She performed "Meddle" with flecks of disco and fuzzed out guitars bouncing through a splashy melody. The aptly titled "Remedy" opened with a wobbly trip through a spaced out circus settling into a heavy, overpowering beat.
At 11:00 pm., the crowd thirsted for more Little Boots. The way she felt, the way she looked and the bell-like clarity of her voice were infectious on stage. She turned away quickly and exited the stage. You could hear people shouting raucously for an encore. She bounced back in another black-layered cloak to sing a rendition of "Stuck On Repeat," with her piano. Within minutes, the entire band was on stage creating reverb-soaked synth noises by her side.
Second act, singer Martina Sorbara of Dragonette strutted to the stage, wearing a white shirt that halts just above her navel, with tight black spandex and bright red lips. Sounding reminiscent of Cyndi Lauper, Sorbara knows how to put on a smashing show with her husband, keyboardist and bassist Dan Kurtz and drummer Joel Stouffer. All three rocked out in unison with the catchy, vibrant song, "Pick Up The Phone."
The Crowd: A sea of gay men draped themselves on one another, shaking their asses to the thumping beats. A skinny jeaned, tight T-shirt wearing scenester with jet-black hair and a sharp tongue reached up to his punk rock boyfriend. He pushed a lock of hair away from his face and grabbed his wrist, forcing him to make out. A sopping, sweaty mesh of under-aged kids grinded on the dance floor with $2 water bottles in hand. Black fingernails jolted in the air, gawky arms and legs moved around. A guy with a vibrant pink Mohawk shook his hair to the music while an older crowd in the back of the venue bobbed their heads.
Overheard: Front and center on stage, Hesketh folded her arms behind her head and stretched her neck out as she hollered, "Pomona---I'm sad I have to go home, I love playing my music here!" to her whistling audience. The crowd clapped with excitement. An attendee in the front row enthusiastically shouted, "You can move into my room if you want!"
2. New In Town
4. Hearts Collide
10. Stuck on Repeat