Pale Waves – Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY (13th April 2018)

Pale Waves played The Bowery Ballroom on Friday the 13th in New York City. The normally relaxed laid back atmosphere of the Bowery Ballroom was transformed into a “cool kids” only secret underground hangout. With groups of effortlessly cool millennials draped over each other enjoying drinks in the dimly lit basement bar before the show, it was clear that the crowd would not be filled with the Tumblr obsessed shrieking teenagers who normally attend The 1975 shows. This fact was almost as surprising as the pre performance playlist that featured tons of Drake and throwback rap songs.

With a sudden stop to the playlist the lights in the audience lowered leaving only a colorful glow from the stage. Drummer Ciara Doran was first out on stage followed by the boys of the group, bassist Charlie Wood, and guitarist Hugo Silvani. After a dramatic pause, front woman Heather Baron-Gracie stumbled onto the stage. Looking as if she pregamed for her own show she asked the crowd if they were happy to see her.

At first glance, one might assume the Manchester based band is a punk rock group with songs that feature dark lyrics, but Pale Waves has a strong upbeat 80’s pop influence. The flirty banter continued as the band opened with ‘Television Romance’. It was also clear that even though The 1975 were not present in the room their influence on Pale Waves was everywhere. From the lighting to Gracie’s movement’s on stage, you couldn’t help but feel as if you were watching the girl version of Matty Healy.

The band blew through their short set list stopping only for Gracie to introduce a new song called ‘Noises’. The crowd once again was “too cool” to dance, and focused solely on getting the best photos for their social media pages.The only thing that seemed to spark a reaction from the audience were a few sensual hair grabs by Gracie. 

It wasn’t until the last song ‘There’s a Honey’ that the crowd put their  phones down and started to get into it. It was a slow start but eventually the audience started to dance to the infectious melody. , but just as it felt like the performance was finally in full swing, it ended leaving fans wanting more.

Over all the band was technically great. Their songs are catchy but the fun was short lived due to their short set list and the “it is cooler to not seem interested” atmosphere of the crowd. NOTE TO THE BAND: WE WANT MORE MUSIC!

Pale wave‘s EP ‘ALL THE THINGS I NEVER SAID’ Is out now via Dirty Hit.

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