[10 April 2014]
Perfect Pussy were the headliners at Death by Audio. But the small venue was already packed when I arrived as no one wanted to miss the set from Perfect Pussy. And you could miss it very easily given that from start to finish, their set was less than 30 minutes. The all-ages show served as the premiere for their first album Say Yes to Love and was the first of two in New York for the weekend (though they play here often and are back again in a couple weekends for a Record Store Day set at Rough Trade).
But first, if you arrived earlier, you could catch sets from the bands Sarongs, Friendless Bummer and Green Dreams. I missed Green Dreams while I was in transit from a show at Lincoln Center, but caught a few songs from Sarongs from the very back before watching Friendless Bummer from the right side against the wall, hopefully out of the way of any moshers (given I was carrying my camera and all). I was indifferent to Sarongs and thought it was kinda hilarious to watch people essentially force themselves to mosh during the not-so-punk moments of Friendless Bummer’s set as if coerced by the ambiance of the place. However Bummer’s final song, “Black Leather” was the rowdy off-ramp that the mosh-pit earned and a good warm up before the main act.
After Perfect Pussy set up their gear (DbA is a DIY venue) lead singer Meredith Graves made her way up to the stage for an introduction that began with the band grooving to a decomposed and remixed version of “Starting from the Bottom” by Drake. Then Graves gave a quick history of the band, in essence, “six months ago we didn’t even know we were a band” and then shout outs to the band member’s parents in the crowd.
When it came time for the music, well Perfect Pussy is perfect punk in a live setting. Their set lasted no more than 30 minutes but once the guitars started thrashing, and Graves’ began howling, the mosh pit was caught up in freaking out. I couldn’t tell you what songs were played, or what Graves was singing. It didn’t really matter because all the elements resulted in mayhem. The music loosened the maniacal audience from their chains and then sweat (and maybe blood) poured forth. At the end, the crowd got to hold their punk goddess above their heads as Graves stepped into outstretched arms and crowd-surfed away from the stage. Perfect Pussy’s intense shows are well-deserved of all the buzz, just be sure to arrive on time or you’ll miss it.