Mercury Lounge was humming with activity Friday night with music fans waiting to see a lineup of bands ranging from the bubbly indie-pop hooks of San Cisco to the ferocious post-punk of Savages.
Emma Louise kicked off my night with a deeply emotive blend of acoustic rock. Following her was the infectiously upbeat Aussie band San Cisco, which tore through another killer performance of hook-laced indie rock aimed at the first-time-relationship demographic.
Taking the stage next was England’s Daughter, who put on one of the best performances of my whole CMJ. Lead singer Elena Tonra’s performance was absolutely stunning. She delivered her songs in such a commanding yet fragile manner that it added an intoxicating emotional density to all she touched.
Up next was Denmark’s Choir Of Young Believers who put on a performance ripe with emotion created by their dreamy orchestral mix of strings, guitar and Jannis Noya Makrigiannis’s precious voice. It was another beautiful set that kept the audience entranced with stunning songs. Standout tracks of the night included “Patricia’s Thirst” and “These Rituals Of Mine.”
Finally the most talked-about band of the night took the stage—and lived up to the hype. Savages were post-punk goddesses; their performance was a raucous, in-your-face pile driver of a show. They shredded through 30 minutes without any weak songs in the mix, led by Jehnny Beth, whose stoic yet intense performance was reminiscent of Siouxsie Sioux. You haven’t heard the last of this band.
Photos by Ali Herman