Warpaint bring a powerful presence to Chevron Festival Gardens

Warpaint | Chevron Festival Gardens | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

The ladies of Los Angeles quartet Warpaint thrilled on Sunday night at Chevron Festival Gardens in front of a healthy PIAF crowd, and they made it look easy.

Opening with the combo of Intro/Keep It Healthy, the first two tracks from their self-titled second LP, it was clear that fans were going to get what they wanted from the band’s back catalogue.

While the audience started off a little stiff, the front of the crowd started to amp up, and the band loosened up in response to great benefit.

Vocalist Theresa Wayman was quick to voice her pleasure in seeing the crowd pumped up, and bassist Jenny and Aussie drummer Stella were having fun joking and grooving with each other mid-song.

From there they got stuck into the exploratory, experimental side of their first record. Testing the crowds sense of rhythm with their loosely structured, tempo changing songs, they got big reactions from standout tracks Undertow and Bees.

Having toured Australia for the third time now, with sets in Perth at Laneway Festival and headlining in the eastern states, their live show is a polished performance.

Guitarist/vocalist Emily Kokal is inspiring with her Jazzmaster, finger-picking and belting out pitch perfect vocals amidst a wash delays.

While she is a powerful presence simply standing and delivering, she too is at her best when loose, and the crowd loved to watch her dance and sway the more she got into it.

Their more direct new songs from 2016 album Heads Up went over smooth, getting the crowd dancing with lead single New Song.

There was one minor hiccup with the bass towards the end of the show, leading to the band grooving for a minute, but the crowd wasn’t bothered as Theresa let us know with a smile that this was a remix.

They ended strongly with Love Is To Die and Disco//Very, garnering huge applause as they thanked the crowd graciously, and told everybody that they would see us again soon.

Perth International Arts Festival is taking over the city until Sunday March 5th. Tickets and more information available from perthfestival.com.au

Samuel Joynt

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