Thursday, March 22, 2018

Live :: Pale Waves :: Club Dada, Dallas, Texas - Mar 20 2018


Pale Waves

Club Dada, Dallas, Texas

March 20 2018

Words/Pictures: Krystal Garcia

Coming from a sold-out home tour in the UK through February and early March, and straight after their debut at SXSW last week, Pale Waves continue their second North American headlining tour with a third and final Texas stop at Club Dada in Dallas.

Although their time together as a band has been relatively short - forming in Manchester three years ago - they have found themselves in very capable hands courtesy of Matt Healy of the 1975. To date, Healy has produced two of the band’s four singles including 'There Is A Honey' and 'Television Romance'. After opening for the 1975 during their last US tour in 2017, Pale Waves can already say that they have played a sold out show at Madison Square Garden.

The Dada crowd, most of which have Xs on their hands, greet opening act, London’s INHEAVEN, with the youthful energy to be expected of them. The band return the favour with an energetic set including 'Bitter Town', 'Baby's Alright' and 'Treats', that later warranted pats on the back as they exited Dada’s stage. Signed to Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records, their live set gives a slight nod to 90s alternative and grunge.

If there was any question about the return of 90s fashion and flair, it is definitely evident with the crowd that has piled up at the front of the stage, eagerly awaiting the entrance of the night's goth-pop headliners. Pigtails, hair bows, black lipstick, fishnets and combat boots - it is the best and also the worst of the 90s.

In true pop style, Pale Waves - take the stage promptly at 9pm. A late start would have been much too rock 'n' roll for this pop act. The youthful crowd don’t hesitate to begin singing along with Pale Waves’ first song of the night and second single, 'Television Romance'. Adhering closely to their schedule, they spend the next 45 minutes pumping out song after song. There is little time for post-song banter - and definitely no time for an encore.

It would be remiss to ignore the slight 1975 influence on Pale Waves both in song and performance. Even non-1975 produced tracks like 'She' bear a stark similarity to 1975’s 'Somebody Else'. What vocalist Heather Baron-Gracie lacks in post-song interaction, she more than makes up for by engaging the crowd mid-song using frantic hand gestures and facial expressions akin to those of Matt Healy.

All 1975 references aside, however, there are moments where Pale Waves demonstrate that they are clearly capable of standing on their own as a band. Numbers like 'The Tide' from their debut EP, and new single 'Heavenly', both carefully placed throughout their set, are a nice departure from their debut singles. The “emo” (as Baron-Gracie refers to it) 'My Obsession' and brand new 'Eighteen' showcase the band's dark, yet poppy personal style, appealing to a growing niche market of dark glitter pop millennials. Continuing in this direction, Pale Waves could very well be the Cranberries of the new generation, with Baron-Gracie as a much-needed Dolores O’Riordan.

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