Finals are over, and for the first time in weeks, I don’t have to worry about schoolwork. I may not be in Southern California anymore, but my hometown of Houston still does a pretty decent job of satisfying my live music cravings. What better way to start my time off than by jamming with Pity Sex, PWR BTTM, and Petal?
Petal kicked things off. The Scranton, PA native started things off slowly, but she did not disappoint. Expecting a head banging show from Houston’s usual rock venue, Walter’s Downtown, I was left with chills from Petal’s indie rock vibes that came from her newest and first full length album, Shame, that left me reminiscently thinking of the bittersweet memories of my first year of college, rather than giving me whiplash from going too hard in a mosh pit. Petal’s lyrical imagery brought up all of the feels. My mind wandered from frolicking in fields of flowers to staring out of a window, contemplating life on a rainy day. Petal left me feeling vulnerable, but satisfied and wanting to go through the emotional roller coaster all over again.
Next up was PWR BTTM, the band that I was most excited to see. Ben Hopkins and Liv Bruce give BeDazzlers a run for their money on the amount of glam and glitter they produce during their performances. Ben Hopkins took the stage wearing a blue floral dress, sporting golden glitter around his eyes, and wearing a solid colored baseball cap on his head. Liv Bruce wore a pink “Love Boston” t-shirt and a bright red shade of lipstick. I can imagine that many people become uncomfortable when they catch sight of the duo, but that’s the point. PWR BTTM’s goal is to undermine the societal norms of gender and sexuality, and they do an amazing job of it. PWR BTTM flamboyantly expressed their desires and emotions through punk rhythms that were extremely relatable in songs like, “I Wanna Boi” and “Ugly Cherries.” Both Hopkins and Bruce were communicative and casual with the crowd, like they were chatting with old friends, sharing explicit anecdotes of their queer love lives, dealing with cis-gender straight religious people, and singing show tunes on road trips.
PWR BTTM stands strong as a band that simply does not give a damn and does what they want, but they also cut deep into your soul with their vulnerable and honest lyrics, meshing well with their rebellious facade. PWR BTTM reminded anyone that may have had any doubts that even without being straight or cisgender, LGBTQ humans are incredibly capable of loving and more importantly, being loved.
Finishing the night off strong was Pity Sex. The band’s two vocalists, Brennan Greaves and Britty Drake took turns bringing their classic emo vibes back through tales of the despair of heartbreak and loss, sung over ironic, but appropriate upbeat indie pop chord patterns, passin
g off the most painful sadness as a side note, but not one that is passed over easily. Not all of Pity Sex’s songs are emo anthems about losing hope and waxing introspective. Keeping things interesting, the band would throw in some lyrics and rhythms every now and then that would ever so slightly reveal a shimmering light of hope at the end of the deepest and darkest tunnel. Playing both old and new songs from their most recent album, White Hot Moon,
the band played through their set, rarely interacting with the crowd, but when you get
down to the root of things, people don’t come to concerts to have a conversation. They come to lose themselves in the music and connect with their favorite bands through song.
Be sure to tune into KSPC Radio on 88.7FM or http://kspc.wpengine.com/ to catch Petal, PWR BTTM, and Pity Sex on the air!
By Emily Macune