Hospitality & TEEN at the 400 Bar (10/1/12)

By Faydra Lagro

Monday, October 1st, I attended Hospitality’s show at the 400 Bar. They had one opener, TEEN, who of which accounted for probably a third of the attendants that night. Though it was disheartening to see such a dismal crowd, I reminded myself that it was, after all, Monday night.

My friend and I paid our eight buckaroos to get through the door and it was then that the first peculiar event of the night happened. When asked for my ID, I did as I always do and said, “I’ll save you the trouble, I’m underage.” I pushed back my sleeves and held out two fists for the doorman to adorn me with those ever-so-stylish black x’s. However, for the first time I was told he needed my ID anyways. I chuckled and said something mildly inappropriate like, “I swear I’m not illegal…” Nothing. A little confused, I rummaged around, because by the look on his face, I wasn’t getting in otherwise. He took it, x-ed me, and let me through… A short detour to the bathroom (to make sure I didn’t have the word, “DRUG DEALER,” plastered across my forehead) and one little bee-line to a high-top table later, I was ready to enjoy the night’s line-up.

TEEN – “Electric” from stereogum on Vimeo

Luckily, TEEN hadn’t even started yet. So we sat and guzzled water for something to do and wound-up facing another peculiar event. We were occupying the half of the table facing the stage when two middle-aged women approached. We weren’t opposed to them sharing our table – more than happy to, actually. However, when they got up and asked us to watch their drinks… things got a little weird. I joked about guarding them from roofies (I know, who jokes about roofies – serious shit) and this lady looks at me and says, “Oh, I refuse to stay if you’re not going to drug my drink! That’s why I came out tonight!” She then exited with a boisterous, too-long-for-comfort laugh, and I figured those drinks would be just fine on their own.

As TEEN finally started, my initial reaction was that they were good, not great. However, I LOVED the main singer, Katherine aka Teeny Lieberson’s, voice. It had such a bold, honest tone to it. Plus, she looked like Sandra Bullock and who doesn’t love Sandra Bullock? Miss Congeniality anyone? The band also drew me in because it was an all-girls band with three of the four being sisters. And all four sang! Being a singer, I’m biased in finding that commendable. Anyway, as for their music, it was fun: an upbeat, garage-y sound. There weren’t any crazy awesome instrumental parts, everything was straight forward – which was kind of refreshing. The melodic lines were particularly catchy, but on the verge of being redundant (this made it easy for me to sing along).

After going home and listening to them online, I much prefer them live. Their produced tracks are heavily-layered with 80’s-esque synth lines… yucky. Strangely enough, I caught all of TEEN’s set, but only half of the headliner’s set. Right from the first song Hospitality reminded me of the Ting Tings, but with more instruments. The lead vocalist, Amber Papini matched Katie White’s sarcastic, sing-song-y shout choruses and that’s what I liked so much. Her demanding vocals kept you invested in their performance rather than trailing off at each section. The bassist also chimed in with shoutastic harmonies that rang way up in the stratosphere. Comical, yet impressive. Aesthetically, the band was dressed to impress in hipster attire, but stuck it to the man with their powerful sound.

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