Pretty in Person: Pretty Girls Make Graves at Black Cat

Live Review >>
Pretty Girls Make Graves at Black Cat – Washington, DC
December 8, 2005

Pretty Girls Make Graves
Pretty Girls Make Graves

When Pretty Girls Make Graves take stage, don���t expect some complicated light show or a shower of pyrotechnics. In fact, the band members will more than likely be wandering around pre-show, taking turns conducting their own sound check and set-up. They remain completely accessible, despite the fact that Pretty Girls Make Graves have the makings of band most likely to take over the world.

After a handful of Fall dates opening for Franz Ferdinand, PGMG rounded out the year with several headlining appearances, providing a sneak peek for their forthcoming 2006 release from Matador Records (produced by Colin Stewart, whose most recent credits include Black Mountain). Originally formed in Seattle in 2001, PGMG is a hybrid of talent from bands including Death Wish Kids, Murder City Devils, and Kill Sadie. Fronted by Andrea Zollo, the crisp, aggressive, and haunting sound of PGMG is also brought to life by guitarist Jay Clark, drummer Nick Dewitt, and bassist Derek Fudesco. The new kid of the PGMG block is keyboardist Leona Marrs from Hint Hint, a wise addition who also provides the perfect backing vocal ying to Zollo���s yang.

Their December 8th appearance at the Black Cat opened with the hypnotic-turned-explosive ���Something Bigger, Something Brighter��� from their most recent release, the brilliant, critically-revered The New Romance. The evening continued with a welcomed audio assault of other PGMG favorites, all fueled by the urgency conveyed in Zollo���s voice ��� be it the slowly building crescendo of ���Blue Lights��� or the aching ���A Certain Cemetery.��� If the band had any concerns about reactions to the new material, they need not worry ��� the crowd jumped right on board as PGMG blazed through a sampling of glittery gems sure to keep fans buzzing until the official release. The encore culminated with the epic, manic anthem, ���This Is Our Emergency,��� and by the time PGMG took their official, for real-real final bow, their ability to fill even the most intimate venues with kinetic energy could not be denied.

P.S. To the two girls in the back dancing all Molly-Ringwald-Breakfast-Club-ish: Fan enthusiasm is great, but ladies ��� didja��� have a few cocktails before the show? Uh-huh. That���s what I thought.