photos by Dakota Fine
The self-described “Queen of All Media” was in town at the 9:30 club on Saturday hosting the second stop of the national tour Perez Hilton Presents, featuring Ida Maria and Ladyhawke.
“I love Washington, D.C. I really do,” the celebrity blogger told the crowd. “It’s an amazing city.”
Frankmusik, one of the two openers of the night, was the first to take the stage. The British electopop musician, also known as Vincent Frank, was full of energy during his set. The audience, jumping up and down with excitement, ate up his cover of Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop The Music.”
At the end of the act, we were kept entertained with music videos, clearly chosen by Mr. Hilton himself. His playlist was a fusion of the old and the new; From Janet Jackson’s 1990 hit “Love Will Never Do Without You” to Taylor Swift’s 2008 release “Love Story,” women dominated the screen.
Next came Semi Precious Weapons, whom Hilton dubbed “one of Lady Gaga’s favorite bands.” The New York City-based group’s exploding stage presence was felt throughout the room. Even the blasé 9:30 club bartenders watched in amusement.
“Louder!” the animated lead singer Justin Tranter demanded of the audience at the end of his opening song, “Semi Precious Weapons.” “Now, shut up!”
Tranter, who belted out his music with incredible passion, seemed to be enjoying himself as he climbed onto a part of the club’s balcony, jumped off the stage and ran through the mass of fans.
At times, the spectators looked unsure of what to make of the glam-rocker’s adrenalized vigor and cheeky arrogance.
“Can you believe how attractive I am? Isn’t it shocking?” Tranter teased.
“Who the f*** does this guy think he is?” asked a man, who was standing behind me.
“He’s crazy and fabulous,” responded another concertgoer.
During the performance, I spoke to Perez Hilton, who was singing and dancing in utter glee.
“It was great visiting D.C. today,” Hilton said. “And, I’m so happy that the crowd is enjoying the show.”
It was Norwegian musician Ida Maria who changed the mood of the evening.
“I know that I’m a drunk, stupid, asshole standing onstage right now, but I don’t believe in feminism. I believe in equality. I believe in equality,” Maria slurred. She was both puzzling and entertaining.
Despite her intoxicated setbacks, like having to start her first song over again, there were times when Maria sang beautifully.
The anticipated “Oh My God” was a crowd favorite. Then, Maria finished with some thank you’s, goodbyes and wandered off stage.
“I’m 100 percent sober, but I’m about to get as wasted as that b****,” Hilton said at the end of Maria’s performance. “She’s still kind of awesome, even though she was a train wreck.”
Hilton continued with some of his last words of the night: “Ladyhawke is next, and I swear she’s sober. F*** Paris. Tonight, she’s going to burn D.C. down,” he said, referencing the single “Paris Is Burning.”
Finally, “Pip” Brown, more commonly known as Ladyhawke, the artist I was there to see, took the stage.
The New Zealander opened her synthetic ten-song set with the pulsing “Magic” and closed with the popular “My Delirium.” In-between, she played “Dusk Till Dawn,” “Back Of The Van” and b-side “Danny & Jenny,” among others.
Wearing a baggy Nirvana shirt and a loose red button-down, the singer told the audience, “It’s really cool being in Washington D.C., because it’s my first time here.”
She said little else other than confessing, “I was really nervous before this show.”
Well, she had no reason to worry, because she played amazingly. To me, Ladyhawke is one of the few artists reviving the mid-Eighties sound in a way worth hearing. And her awkward, nonchalant demeanor and personal style only add to her charm.