Lisa Prank, a solo indie pop punk band from Seattle, and Bellows, a dreamy indie folk band from Brooklyn, opened for New York’s queer punk duo PWR
BTTM at Durham’s the Pinhook on Sunday, November 20th. Lisa Prank (Robin Edwards) captivated her audience with her innocent demeanor, sporting a glittery blue and silver crown that read “PRANK” for the entirety of her set. Her special brand of “TMI Punk” is brutally honest in depicting her experiences in life and in relationships, which gives her listeners a lot of space to relate to her. Most of the songs she performed were from her 2016 album, Adult Teen. Bellows came next, supplying a change of tone with their dreamy, delicate, and highly sensory sound. Their matter of fact lyrics and sing-song melodies have characteristics of folk music, paired with strange and striking background music creates a style that is unique to them. They played songs from both their 2016 album, Fist & Palm, and Blue Breath from 2014. Oliver Kalb of Bellows was also sure to convey to the audience the importance of the Pinhook as a space that encourages and facilitates political organizing in the wake of the huge political changes that are about to take place.
You could really feel the excitement in the audience as PWR BTTM finally took the stage. Liv Bruce and Ben Hopkins were dressed in their usual garb – both rocking dresses, Liv wearing bright lipstick and Ben with a handful of glitter smeared across his face. They opened with a crowd favorite, West Texas, and played a majority of the songs from their 2015 album, Ugly Cherries. They also played three tracks that they are planning to include in their upcoming album, including one song called “Silly” that Ben dedicated to “anyone who has ever been made to feel ridiculous about their sexuality or gender identity”. They, like Colin Kalb, were adamant in advocating for the importance of the Pinhook as a gender-neutral space for people to come together to protect themselves in the upcoming political climate. Ben and Liv had an entertaining and hilarious chemistry throughout the show, and even switched between playing guitar and manning the drums three times during their set. They apologized for how long it took to adjust their instruments each time – they had been robbed of their equipment and had to buy all new stuff very recently. At the end of their initial set, they encouraged the audience to chant to summon the “pizza monster,” after which Ben Hopkins came back out and played the last few songs in a cardboard pizza costume. It’s safe to say that fun was had by all, and that I won’t be missing their show next time they’re in town.
– DJ Dari