Saturday, June 13, 2015

“We Can’t Be Silent No More.”
And The Kids Branch Out Live,
With New Bass Player In Tow
Jesse Mullen

And The Kids 06/12/15,Gateway City Arts Center, Holyoke, MA

When And The Kids played the Columbus theater, in Providence this March, I thought they were a good band with potential. When they performed at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke last night, I thought they were an impeccable band, who had realized that potential. Part of this can be credited to new bass player Taliana. Not content at merely holding down the low end, she also filled the role of a sort of hybrid between rhythm guitar, and traditional basslines, without merely getting by on walking lines, or dub-style, a true rarity in modern indie. This makes for an interesting dynamic between her and Hannah (Vox, Gtr.), and her and Rebecca (Drums, vox); she's woven in and out of Hannah's melodies, while locking in firmly with Rebecca's hi-hat-heavy sticksmanship. She is the glue between Hannah and Rebecca, that they've been missing since their estranged keyboardist Megan was deported last December.
They've found their Doug Yule. (Bassist who was abruptly added to the Velvets, and changed their entire group dynamic, in my opinion, for the better.) I sincerely hope that, upon Megan’s return, they become a quartet. They're too good with Taliana not to be.

They've also tightened up tremendously as a unit, while still allowing the songs to breathe, and take shape in the live environment. Even a "bicycle" stunt between Hannah and Tiliana towards the set's end couldn't slow them down. (They laid on their backs facing each other, and peddled against each other's feet, while finishing the song without missing a beat. Gary Young, the eccentric drummer from Pavement would proud.) Hannah and Taliana occasionally swapped vocals as well, with Hannah’s higher range being complemented nicely by Taliana’s slightly lower voice.

Rebecca, and Megan, who was there in spirit.

They played many of their signature songs (no pun intended) off of their long awaited debut from earlier in the year, including "Cats Were Born," and longtime fan favorite "Wiser," which had the entire crowd dancing in one big swaying motion. They always had chemistry, but the songs felt bigger than before in the live space, making me wish that they would record their next album in front of an audience. My one regret from this eye opening show, was that I had forgone any form of glitter cosmetics, before attending. An excellent performance by a now excellent band. And to think I once thought they were just "good."

“Makin’ money,but you make no sense..” Hannah and Taliana switch sides for the middle eight of "Wiser"