All words: Jeb Gavin — All photos: Daniela Toleva
I have taken flak in the past when covering shows like the one Dragonette played this past Saturday night at the Black Cat. Somehow my attempts to paint a picture of the evening fall on deaf ears, and my occasional remarks about the audience are met with a harsh response, as though people somehow believe the crowd around them would have no effect at all on their experience. So let me state as emphatically as I can: this show was awesome, everyone had a blast, fuck you if you think otherwise.
The line outside the club stretched up 14th, engulfing the roped off area for EL Centro D.F and Masa 14. It was girls’ night out, considering the pockets of ladies out with friends strewn throughout the overwhelmingly gay crowd. And if I may- when I say the crowd was awesome, I’m not just whistling Dixie. Dancing from the jump, happy and excited by everything (even oddly lyrical Canadian cursing), throwing confetti during “Hello,” not piss drunk and screaming in the back of the room; EVERYONE was having a good time, so much so that when singer Martina Sorbara suggested the the band and the crowd should go out dancing after the show, it seemed like a real possibility.
Martina herself looked like she was enjoying her night out. Flanked on either side by light-up neon panels and fellow band members entrenched behind banks of synths and drum machines, she conducted the band and the congregation like Florence Welch, if she decided to cut loose and explore every possible vocalization of the syllable “oh.” She strapped on a guitar for a song or two, but mostly stuck to a mic allowing her to bounce around the stage like the world’s least ironic Robin Sparkles impersonation. If anything, the whole performance was like watching the second coming of Debbie Gibson (or perhaps Cyndi Lauper, what with them teasing “Time After Time” early on in the set.)
Make no mistake, this is very much electro-pop music, a confection so sweet people as far off as U Street were at risk of slipping into diabetic comas. Yet it’s so fun, so infectious, such a perfect soundtrack to a late summer Saturday night, even a world class jerk like myself couldn’t help but shake my considerable ass. Minutes spent scribbling notes, trying to keep track of all the new songs (their latest, Bodyparts is due out in two weeks) felt like time wasted. The short, hour long set, was followed by a brief encore ended all too soon. Then we drifted outside into the night, only slightly disappointed we had to stop dancing long enough to walk downstairs.
I Get Around
Live in This City
Pick Up the Phone
Fire in Your Legs
Run, Run, Run
My Work Is Done
Let It Go
Fixin’ to Thrill