Warpaint has been one of my favorite bands for quite a while now, despite the fact that I only have five proper songs by them, the ones on their Exquisite Corpse EP from last year. In fact, there tune Billie Holiday was a close contender for song of the year in my opinion. They played a one-off gig last night with Zola Jesus, both in the midst of a supporting tour for the xx, at the Holocene here in Portland, OR. I arrived just in time to see the last song of the ZJ set, who bounced and lolled her wispy frame—draped in sheets of fabric and apparently glowing—around the stage in what appeared to be a slow-motion fit of hysteria, so I’m not sure what I missed there. It could have been either captivating of grotesquerie. The room was packed, but as is de rigueur the room cleared out post set so that everyone could get their smoke on. Grabbing a beer, I headed up to the front of the stage, which is the only place to see a rock show, unless you have the option of sitting outside in a lawn chair with an unobstructed view of the stage, on a beautiful crisp summer’s evening. I’m just saying that there’s always an exception, especially when you start to get old.
Warpaint began with Set Your Arms Down, a song that starts out with slow down-tempo atmospherics, but steadily progresses into a pretty heavy jam. From there on it was all over, and what I mean is I can barely remember anything about the set, except that it was entirely awesome, every song was killer, and well played. All the ladies in this band seemed like they could just play solid rock in true command of their instruments. Below, I’ve included the set list with links to a video for each song if there was a decent quality recording available. For the best representation of how incredible this band is onstage, check the last, live video for elephants. And, if you can catch them any time in the next year, you should jump at the chance, because these ladies are going to blow up for sure. They’re already on that trajectory. Their album The Fool is due to be released next month, Oct. 25th.
Set List, with links to version of the songs when available:
• Set Your Arms Down
• Burgundy (passable concert footage)
• Elephants or Official Video (but the live version kills it!)