Lovefoxxx and her rowdy gal band CSS stormed through the 9:30 Club Monday night, playing a ridiculous amount of catchy new wave and reggaeton.
It’s a show more people should have come out to see! Sponsored by Nylon magazine, CSS actually shared the bill with newcomers Io Echo. When the Brazilian girls took the stage at 9:30pm, they opened with a curious selection, “Art Bitch” from their first album, but it really set the mood for funky fun, which they delivered through to the end with their last song, the goofy rap “I’ve Seen You Drunk Girl and You’re Not Drunk Yet,” which way more entertaining than I would have anticipated.
Performance-wise, CSS don’t seem to have suffered from the departure of their producer and songwriter Adriano Cintro. Although not an official member of the band, J.R. Kurtz provided a steady presence behind the drums, occasionally looking amused as the ladies jumped around. Lovefoxxx in particular brought a lot of energy to the show as she sang into the audience, crowd surfed and broke out a black cape that transformed into gold bat wings at the end of the show. All of this met with rapturous approval from my usual concert date, Yasmin.
The standout numbers truly were from the first album — Cansei de Ser Sexy (“tired of being sexy,” the band’s name in Portuguese). In addition to “Art Bitch,” CSS tore through “Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above,” “Music Is My Hot Hot Sex” and a terrific rendition of “Alala,” which sounded amazingly vital. Songs from the new album, Planta, such as “Hangover,” “Teenage Tiger Cat” and “Girlfriend” were pleasant but lacked the urgent call to dance found in many of the earlier songs. I’m reluctant to pass judgment on the new album right away, particularly as the band’s second album grew on me over time, but it’s definitely not full of the dance beats of old.
The band delivered more than enough punch that I would have liked to have seen the 9:30 Club at more than the two-thirds of capacity it achieved. Lovefoxxx’s antics alone were worth the price of admission. In addition, the audience experienced the moving reenactment of guitarist Luiza da Silva e Sá proposing to her girlfriend, which she first did two nights previously onstage in New York City. The audience screamed in delight at her repeated acceptance, and Lovefoxxx strutted around in her bat-cape, which had the word “Yes” inscribed on the inside of each wing.
All in all, it was a pretty strong concert showing for CSS, who demonstrate that they aren’t quite getting “tired of being sexy” yet.