Girls playing “Laura” live at Great Scott
Allston got lucky Saturday night ... really lucky. Girls played their fourth show of their first US tour to a tightly packed and utterly appreciative Great Scott. From the instant frontman Christopher Owens stepped on stage to plug in his Rickenbacker, the crowd never took their eyes off the San Francisco quartet. (I don't think anyone in the room even took a bathroom or smoke break the entire time.) It was obvious that we were part of something special; something we might never be able to see again.Girls' California-retro-power-pop sound -- a kind of music nostalgic for a 1960s surf dream -- seems like it might be out of place in Boston, especially on a cold autumn evening. But as soon as the first notes of the opening song, "Summertime," rang out, it didn't matter how cold it was outside: I was inside with Girls. Hitting almost every track from their first full-length release, Album (Matador/True Panther Sounds), plus a few new songs, Girls played their set with the passion and understanding only true artists are capable of.
It didn't take long for a good chunk of the audience to join in and sing every song as if they'd written them themselves. Maybe it's the occasional sardonic tone Owens lays on his lyrics; maybe it's because sometimes all we want is "a pizza and a bottle of wine" (and sometimes a beach house); maybe it's because the words just sound so goddamn good coming out of Owens's mouth -- whatever it is, the crowd caught it, all of it.
Owens and gang had just played the epic Bowery Ballroom in New York the night before, and their arrival at Boston's most modest venue was a relief -- especially for newcomer Ryan Lynch, of the San Fran-based Dominant Legs, who joined Girls a few weeks ago, after former guitarist John Anderson left the band. Having just six days of practice (most of which he spent learning the songs one-on-one with Owens), Lynch had only played two live shows with the crew before Bowery, but by Saturday, you would have thought he'd been playing with Girls for years.
Album hasn't even been out two months, yet I'm already so hooked on this record, it's hard to imagine going a day without hearing Owens's voice. Saturday's show reinforced my love for Album, and I'll be forever grateful to have seen Girls play Boston for the first time in such an intimate setting.
--by Addison Post