Concert Review: Warpaint at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN. – March 29, 2014

  • First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN.
  • March 29, 2014
  • Opener: Cate Le Bon
  • Published by Joe Stadele on March 28, 2014.

Warpaint (30)Warpaint’s sound is a pastiche. Slinking bass lines weave in and around percussive textures.  The keys and guitars (and at times, vocals) act as splashes of sound creating hypnotic atmosphere. The interchange of vocals phased through reverb complete the sound.  The constant is cohesion.  Moving into their latest album, Warpaint partnered with legendary producer Flood (U2, The Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Sigur Ros) to develop an album which would translate into the live arena.  By their second song, “Intro/Keep It Healthy,” it was clear the ladies of Warpaint had the diverse audience of First Avenue hooked.

Warpaint (8)The quartet were visibly enjoyed themselves on stage.  The rhythm section of Jenny Lee Lindberg (bass) and Stella Mozgawa (drums) locked in during “Intro/Keep It Healthy” and had the balcony and back rafters of First Avenue shaking/thumping during the hypnotic, “No Way Out” and danceable “Disco//very.”  Linberg seemed to be lost in the emotion as she swayed and grooved eyes closed up center stage.  Meanwhile Emily Kokal (vocals/guitar/keys) and Theresa Wayman (vocals/guitar/keys) took turns commanding the audience, exchanging reverbed vocals and adding music flourishes over the top.  Towards the end of the show the ladies let loose, exchanging laughs and smiles as they nonchalantly danced around one another before turning towards each other for an extended jam session during “Bees” and “Elephant.”

There’s no denying the new songs translate live.

Warpaint (12)The crowd sung along to “Love Is To Die,” through their hands in the air for “Disco//very,” and  lost themselves in the atmosphere of “Hi”, “Biggy,” and the creeping hook of the mysterious “Drive.” Emily and Theresa encouraged the audience to sway and hold the hand of a loved one during the “B-I-L-L-I-E-H-O-L-I-D-A-Y” love song “Billie Holiday” and the crowd lost themselves during The Fool favorite “Undertow.”  After closing out the show with “Elephant,” Emily Kokal hilariously sang an operatic goodbye with the words of John Lennon’s “Bless You.”

With dates booking well into the Fall, Warpaint will continue pushing through 2014 on their headlining tour, as well as opening stints with The National and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Warpaint is available now (Warpaint Store, iTunes, Amazon).Warpaint (17)







Feeling Alright
Intro-Keep It Healthy
Love Is To Die
No Way Out
Billie Holiday








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