Warpaint Were Full Of Attitude At The Sydney Opera House
Reviewed on Saturday February 25 (photo by Daniel Boud)
Hit YouTube and search for Warpaint’s ‘Disco//Very’. The four-minute clip will instantly reveal a lot of what you need to know about the LA four-piece: they’re full of attitude, cool AF and were obviously far from the back of the queue when good looks were being dished out. Musically, they make sassy, electro-tinged indie and lyrics like “Don't you battle, we'll kill you / We'll rip you up and tear you in two” suggest they don’t suffer fools gladly.
It’s also obviously apparent that one woman has a little something more than the others; the camera loves bassist Jenny Lee Lindberg and her energy spills out of every frame. And so it was, on a drizzly evening, inside the Sydney Opera House: Lindberg’s contagious energy – not to mention her propelling bass work – was an unceasing joy in an otherwise lacklustre show.
Main vocalists and guitarists Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman stood out front, their voices alternating between angelic harmony and demonic wailing. (Both could sing well when they wanted to, Kokal in particular proving she could play it straight when she emerged alone for an encore of ‘Baby’.) Yet eyes were often drawn to the right, where Lindberg stood on a raised platform with a huge monitor behind her, writhing and jigging around and generally seeming to enjoy herself.
Lindberg’s parts gave heart and soul to songs that might otherwise have been hard to connect with. ‘Whiteout’ was excellent only because of the injection of funk provided by Lindberg and birthday girl (and former Sydney resident) Stella Mozgawa’s compact drums. On ‘CC’, in which Lindberg chants “Breathe in me”, her bass is a lightning counterpart to menace and melancholy not unlike Andy Rourke’s often undervalued work on The Smiths’ best tracks. A far from vintage performance, but great to see an unquestionable star steal the show from the back of the stage.