Pocahaunted prepared the floor area below the stage with props, pedals and assorted instruments as the room steadily became a sea of cross-legged show goers. Figuring I had missed out on some earlier instructions, I inquired as to what was going on. “This is a sitting experience,” I was informed. After what seemed like forever, the main lights finally went out, leaving only Pocahaunted’s blue floodlights and illuminated Jack-o-Lantern as spacial guides. Backing the dynamic vocal duo that night was Bob (of Polar Goldie Cats) on drums, Luis on bass and Britt Brown (of Robedoor) on guitar. The set began with co-singers Bethany and Amanda seated on the ground, facing each other. The singular sound of Bethany’s reverberated guitar and ultra delayed vocals slowly progressed into an ooga-chaca rhythm as layers of bass, drums and more guitar crunch came in. The vocals evolved from undulating whoas to increasingly intense, battle-like warrior cries as Bethany and Amanda each pounded tambourines against the floor. The double vocals created a panned, echo-chamber effect that, combined with Amanda’s dancing under strobe light, induced psychedelic visions. Somehow Pocahaunted even managed to seamlessly climax into Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.” And then, abruptly, after what couldn’t have been more than 10 minutes: “Thank you, we’re Pocahaunted. Vivian Girls are next.” How one goes from a psychedelic freakout to brightly lit reality in a moment’s lapse is the power of live music. Although I would have enjoyed a longer Pocahaunted set, my disappointment was quickly mitigated by the realization that I was about to see Vivian Girls. Vivian Girls, a reference taken from Henry Darger’s story of sisters who fight against sadistic adults, is comprised of only three members, but their sound could easily pass for the seven in Darger’s story: reverb-heavy harmonies and distorted guitaring echoing into wall of sound like a distorted wave machine with a Lady in the Radiator. These Brooklynites have been a band for only a little over a year and they are poised to take over the world. Their new LP, which they had received by mail that day, is already sold out. 500 copies, gone in a week! You’ll have to wait for a re-press, but in the mean time, if you have the means, I highly suggest going to New York to see Vivian Girls open for Love Is All on June 14th. And if you do have the means, please take me with you!
— Vanessa Gonzalez