Concert review and set list: Dum Dum Girls (with the Yowl) find the groove at Off Broadway, Monday, August 6
Even as the openers took the stage shortly after the posted show time, Off Broadway was still a venue half-empty. Not that that mattered to Springfield, Mo.’s the Yowl, as the band served up its punk-influenced rock as a primer for Dum Dum Girls.
When the buzz of the Yowl’s amplifiers died down, a different buzz of anticipation and slight impatience from the crowd grew over the next hour or so while waiting for the headliners.
With each member wearing black attire, Dum Dum Girls took the stage around 10 p.m. and plunged into their 17-song set with “Mine Tonight” and “He Gets Me High,” shifting the ambience from idle to active. Hailing from Los Angeles, Dum Dum Girls brought the frayed, whammy-heavy guitar riffs, breathy vocals and leading bass and drum beats that make their dreamy noise pop so memorable.
Dum Dum Girls shined when they played “Bhang, Bhang, I’m a Burnout,” a song that’s practically made to be sung and danced along to. As guitarist and lead singer Dee Dee sang, “Are you dead? In your head?” and “I’m a burnout, you’re a burnout too” the syncopated apathy seemed to connect with the audience.
The band made little time for banter in between songs, perhaps to make up for the lengthier than usual time lag between them and the openers. No matter the circumstances, once the songs got rolling no one seemed to mind the clock. Songs like “Heartbeat (Take It Away)” and “I Will Be” served as perfect opportunities for the audience to admire drummer Sandy’s backbeats, which blend perfectly with bassist Malia’s sweet and low bass riffs.
Standing onstage, Dee Dee’s black dress and black, patterned tights contrasted with the red curtain behind her and the dreamy vocals she projected to the 120-something bobbing heads staring up at her and the rest of the band.
The girls took a few breaks from their more energized songs to play some slower tunes. “Coming Down” is hauntingly down-tempo throughout the six-and-a-half-minute length and leaves room for Dee Dee’s vocals to stand out against the frazzled guitar melodies and soft bass-drum kicks. She exuded the feeling of a defeating crash: “I close my eyes to conjure up something/but it’s just a faint taste in my mouth/I think I’m coming down.”
Picking up the momentum and lightening the mood once again, the band churned out “Wasted Away,” which, like most of the set, came off of the 2011 album, “Only in Dreams.” The band did play songs from past albums, including “I Will Be” and “Jail La La” among others, making the set well-rounded in terms of discography.
After doing a splendid cover of the Pale Saints’ “Sight of You,” the girls came back for an encore of “Coming Down,” ending their performance and, in a way, leaving the audience gently, if not reluctantly.
He Gets Me High
I Will Be
Bhang Bhang, I’m a Burnout
Heartbeat (Take It Away)
Hold Your Hand
Rest of Our Lives
Jail La La
Teardrops on My Pillow
I Got Nothing
Sight of You (Pale Saints cover)