girls_band.jpg
Girls

Wednesday, Oct. 5

The Neptune

Girls singer, guitarist, and songwriter Christopher Owens is known for saying what's on his mind. In interviews, he's open

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Girls Cut the Banter and Go Straight to Work, Last Night at the Neptune

girls_band.jpg
Girls

Wednesday, Oct. 5

The Neptune

Girls singer, guitarist, and songwriter Christopher Owens is known for saying what's on his mind. In interviews, he's open to talk about almost anything, but especially his drug use (which, based on the introduction to this interview, can be problematic at times) and his childhood growing up in a fundamentalist Christian cult.

But last night at the Neptune Theatre, such candor was nowhere to be found. Owens--or the rest of the band, for that matter--had little to say onstage, opting for a few simple "thank you"s and not much else, which resulted in some awkward silences between songs. The result was a workmanlike performance that arguably lacked personality but offered confident and compelling versions of the band's catalog, focusing heavily on material from last month's Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

Girls got off on the right foot by opening with "Laura," the bouncy second track from their 2009 debut, Album, and following it up with the equally excellent "Alex," whose instrumental build-ups really shone. The band was on point the entire show, and lead guitarist Evan Weiss was especially impressive, nailing the solos on songs like "Vomit" as well as the killer sliding surf-guitar riff that kicks off "Honey Bunny."

Unsurprisingly, the heavier material translated better live than the straight-up pop songs. The Deep Purple-influenced "Die" was as raucous as it is on the new album, and set-closer "Forgiveness" lulled for the first few minutes before suddenly springing to life with another well-placed guitar solo.

All the songs, however, hinged on Owens' vocals, the most important element of Girls. He doesn't have a good voice in the traditional sense, but it's very emotive and completely his own. "Jamie Marie" made the best use of this asset, as Owens performed the majority of the song solo before being joined by the rest of the band three-fourths of the way through. It was the set's most poignant song, and though Owens didn't say much most of the night, at that moment, he hardly needed to.

Set list:

Laura

Alex

Love Like a River

Heartbreaker

Honey Bunny

My Ma

Vomit

Saying I Love You

Lust For Life

Magic

Substance

Hellhole Ratrace

Die

Encore:

Jamie Marie

Forgiveness

Overheard: "Which Beatles song is that?" during the opening guitar riff of "Vomit."

BTW:I know it's sacrilege to compare anyone to Kurt Cobain around these parts, but it's hard to avoid a comparison--just physically, mind you--between him and Owens. From the messy, shoulder-length blonde hair to the baggy pants to the worn-out-looking cardigan, there is quite a resemblance.

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