all photos: Katherine Gaines all words: Marie Formica
Lovefoxx strode on the NYLON tour 9:30 club stage with a huge wave of black hair swinging around her. It blew in the wind, onstage, helped by a fan at the foot of the stage. The remaining members of the band took their places, standing tall with the experience of seven years recording and touring behind them. The décor was spare, excepting two rainbow pride flags spilling out over amplifiers behind the band.
HI WE’RE CSS AND WE’RE FROM THE INTERNET, Lovefoxx said.
CSS kicked off with “Move.” Under the digi-cute synth, elements of slow-punk reggae type thing goin’ on, and the audience was ready for it. Really ready. Many chants of C-S-S were shouted before the band walked on. One fan lifted her newly purchased vinyl and waved it in place of a sign. They had a great spoken word backup piece as well here, and all looked well.
Following up “Move” with “Hangover” and “Hits Me Like a Rock,” I started to notice something. It felt like CSS was holding something back. Here I expected the quartet to assemble into a ten foot tall dancing music robot hero, but they were smiling sheepishly offstage, looking down. Lovefoxx flipped her hair in the onstage wind and danced around some. She even had some great cat growls on “Teenage Tiger Cat,” but the energy of the band that’s so effervescent recorded wasn’t there at the 9:30, yet. I waited.
“Let’s Make Love in the Back of a Bar” had an incredible sustained breakdown but it was a temporary rocking out. To be fair, a lot of CSS’s songs are slow grooving, synth eating, slow drips of songs, like “Girlfriend .” Lovefoxx held a long white ribbon torch, which led a great atmospheric element. At this point in the show, she’d also mastered her hair-wind relationship; it floated all around her.
By “Dynamite,” they had it. This is one of their best arranged songs to begin with, and playing it they had that amazing, grooving, into-it energy I expected. Its more traditional punkish sound probably lent or encouraged that energy, but the whole band was jumping and jamming and, it clicked. That was their last song. Luckily, they encored, and “Frankie Goes to North Hollywood” burst out, best song of the show.
Strutting out for the encore Lovefoxx lifted a black cape lined with gold up like two wings (I have to confess I couldn’t read what it said from my vantage point but I’m sure it was damned moving), jumping from side to side, dancing sexy. It’s amazing, the latter end of the set exposed the heart of CSS. And god—a re-proposal happened. Yeah. Re-proposal. Lovefoxx announced that their guitarist’s girlfriend was surprising her at the show—and she had just proposed to her, prior to the show—Lovefoxx announced now they COULD be married. And the guitarist proposed again. The energy could not cap out more here, wonderful and pure happy.
and now, even more photos, including IO ECHO: