Coming fresh off a tour opening for Ani DiFranco, Brooklyn’s hard-working folk rock trio returned to the DC area for the third time in as many months. Clearly, they must have picked up some new fans, because Rock n Roll Hotel was packed, bodies flush against the stage.
I’ve seen Pearl in the Beard nearly a dozen times in the last few years, and not only was this their most well-attended show, but it was, by far, the show where the opening bands most matched Pearl in the Beard in talent and style.
Leading off was local DC duo The Sweater Set. Maureen Andary and Sara Curtin rotated through so many instruments in their short set that I lost count, but I know I saw an acoustic guitar, a ukulele, a banjo, an accordion, and two kazoos making the rounds. Each song featured folksy little harmonies sung by the two former choirgirls. Silly, fun, and super-sweet, this is about as earnest as contemporary music gets.
Lucius stepped the volume up a couple notches. This Brooklyn-based five pieced featured a pair lead female vocalists (Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig) dressed up like identical dolls with oversize bows on their heads. Over top of the energetic, driving songs, the two singers demonstrated they can use chorus and harmony with equal aptitude. (Sidenote: Their website is brilliantly designed. Other bands could learn a thing or two.)
Pearl and the Beard took the stage with all their trademark enthusiasm, the lush three-part melodies as pristine as ever. They debuted few new songs. For these new songs, drummer Jocelyn MacKenzie added a cymbal to her distinctively spartan drum set. I was surprised by how much such a small change could alter the feel of the music. It may take me a little while to get used to the new sound. After a full set, the trio ran on stage for a rockstar encore.
This is Pearl and the Beard’s final tour before they hole up to record some new material. If you missed out this time, you might have to wait several months for another chance to see them. But in the meantime, check out their seemingly end flow of digital goodies including this new zombie apocalypse video.
- The Sweater Set:
- Pearl And The Beard: