PWR BTTM W/ Lisa Prank & BelowsOct 28, 2016
As I stood against the wall, plastered with posters at 7th Street Entry, and glanced at the lead singer’s face covered in paint and glitter, as cliché as it sounds, I had a feeling that this show would be unlike any other I had been to before. PWR BTTM, a Brooklyn based band, brought a new meaning of what it means to be punk, queer, and a musician all at the same time. Not only that, but the amount of inclusiveness and community at that show was like none I had ever experienced, which is telling of what kind of people PWR BTTM attracted to their show. The diverse crowd was packed all night from openers Lisa Prank and Bellows to PWR BTTM’s final guitar strokes.
LISA PRANK + BELLOWS
Lisa Prank, based in Seattle, opened the night with a sound reminiscent of Girlpool. It was just her and her guitar (and a giant crown with the word “Prank” on it), but that was enough to get the crowd’s heads moving to the strum of her guitar. Lisa Prank preformed songs off her for first album, Adult Teen, captivating people who were even on their phone at the time. After Lisa Prank’s stellar performance, Bellows, another band based out of Brooklyn, followed suit. Never hearing their sound before, I noticed that band member, Gabby Smith, was there. With those unfamiliar with her, she is also behind the projects of Frankie Cosmos and Eskimeaux, which I highly recommend checking out. Lead singer, Oliver Kalb, sported a pair of white New Balances making me that more excited to hear their sound. They did not disappoint. Bellows left me thinking about how memorable their guitar melodies were and how lovely their harmony was between Oliver and Gabby.
At around 10, the already hyped crowd welcomed the members of PWR BTTM (Ben Hopkins, Live Bruce) on stage. They began their show with classic “How’s everybody doing tonight?” but followed up with a wish for everyone at the show to respect each other and each other’s space, a topic they took very seriously. Lead singer, Ben Hopkins, sported a vintage, lace what seemed to be a wedding dress and a pair of black Nikes. That duality perfectly explains their sound. With songs like “West Texas,” (which they opened with) and Nu 1, PWR BTTM has this ability to create songs that tug at your heart strings while also making you want to smear glitter on your face and dance. PWR BTTM is one of the few bands I know who can provoke such a spectrum of emotion in such a short amount of time.
Throughout the night, they branched out from Ugly Cherries by debuting three new songs, and I can say with confidence that their next album will be just as good as Ugly Cherries. As the show came to a close, PWR BTTM left us with “New Hampshire,” a melancholy tune that Ben wrote when he was feeling a little down.
The combination of witty banter between the audience and the band, the powerful chords paired with their distinguished voices, and an occasional surfing of the crowd, made this show at 7th St. Entry one for the books. I would recommend a PWR BTTM show to anyone who likes good, like really good music, a safe space, and some glitter. With many of their upcoming shows selling out, you will definitely not want to miss them. So go see a PWR BTTM show, and don’t forget to get GLTTRD. (glittered)