Words By Leon Hontz, Photos By Miranda Hontz
Little Boots finished out her American tour promoting the release of her new album Working Girl Saturday evening at U Street Music Hall along with Maryland based band Prinze George. The tight and intimate spaces of U Hall were an apt setting for the fervent energy of Saturday’s crowd. People were there to dance dammit, and it was up to Little Boots to put in some work and get them moving.
Little Boots produces a style of pop music that is deeply seeped in the sounds of the genre that were being produced in the late 80s and early 90s. This is dance-pop at its finest, complete with unshakably catchy hooks and melodies as well as more synth laser sounds than you thought could be crammed into a track. Layer on top of that era appropriate clothing and hairstyles as well as projections rich in period iconography (i.e. Kid Pix and Zack Morris brick phone) and you begin to see Little Boots’ motif coalesce. Everything is fun, everything is flashy, and you are here to enjoy yourself so stop worrying and start shaking your ass.
I have to give Little Boots credit for how well she executes this motif and how deeply her show reinforces it. Every aspect of the performance harkens to the spirit of late 80s early 90s consumerism; from the choreography of the backup singers that captures the affected apathy of tween valley girls to the almost cloyingly fun music itself. The show is intentionally vapid, you are there to have a good time and NOTHING else, and the crowd was eager to revel in the safety of this care eschewing show.
If this is Little Boots’ intention, then it is masterfully executed and represents an equally tongue-
in-cheek and reverential approach to the style of music that she is creating. These are Madonna beats with Britney lyrics and vocals, and they are pop supernovae. However, when I looked around the show, the audience teeming with woo-girls and their complacently drunk boyfriends, I began to worry. Am I interpreting this all wrong? Is this a celebration of that lifestyle rather than a critique? Is this all people expect and want for themselves and their music? Didn’t we all agree that the culture that this music is steeped in, fun and nostalgia inducing as it is, was ultimately flawed? Then again, maybe I’m thinking too hard about it. Maybe that’s not what Little Boots wants from me. Maybe I should shut the hell up, raise my hands into the air, let loose my most vocal frying “WOOO” and…just…dance.