The Handsome Furs are hot. Hotter even than the 100-plus degree evening air in Deep Ellum.
They played hot music. They looked hot. Their love for each other and the fun they have performing together was hot.
But every one of the 250 or so people that watched their show at Dada on Saturday night would agree: Keyboardist and major force of nature Alexei Perry was the hottest thing of all at this band's Dallas show.
Starting the set pretty early in the evening by normal show standards, the band took the stage at 9:45. Almost immediately, Perry kicked off her shoes and kicked off the music.
She and her husband, Dan Boeckner (he of Wolf Parade fame), play a bouncy synth-pop augmented with Boeckner's guitar and distinctive voice. No slackers these two, they are touring in support of Sound Kapital, their third full-length album, released this past June. It's an impressive for a "side project" for Boeckner, a guy that just oozes talent. But these songs are no throwaways; they're pretty great.
So, too, are this "side" band's demands. A quick look at their tour schedule suggests that for these two, touring is not a life style, not a chore. Their web-based travel program on CNN
confirms that for them, maybe home is where the heart and amps are.
They certainly are comfortable on stage: Throughout their performance, the music was tight, loud and fun -- even if their playing to programmed beats removed a little bit of spontaneity.
Visually, though, the show was something of a crap shoot. It all depended on where you positioned. If you were in the back of the room, you were afforded a view of Perry bobbing and jumping, playing off Boeckner, with the two occasionally giving in the urge to squeeze in a quick kiss to the cheers of the crowd. Not a bad show. But it paled in comparison to the one you would've seen with a clear, close view of the stage. Those folks were treated to watching Perry's body in perpetual motion. Standing en pointe, collapsing after songs, striking a yoga bridge pose, she was in perpetual motion.
And goddamn, it was fun to watch.
Earlier this year, The Kills played a great show at the Granada
. A big part of their performance is the sexual tension that exists between Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince. In contrast, Boeckner and Perry celebrate an overt sexuality and joy in each other's company and performance. Mosshart may have musical chops that Perry doesn't begin to approach, but both shows were deeply compelling in part because of two massively dynamic women that are natural performers.
Makes me happy.
Personal Bias: It's impossible not to get swept up in the obvious joy performers like these two get from playing before an appreciate crowd.
Random Note: I was surprised but thrilled to see such a great turnout for this band. I don't know if it their CNN Travel Show, the obvious connection with Wolf Parade, or the totality of it all brought the people out.