NEW YORK, NY–I’m not one for mainstream music. If you want to count such guilty pleasures as Fall Out Boy or Paramore, then by all means go ahead, but that’s not what I am referring to as mainstream. I am talking about straight-up Top 40 prefabricated trash that was packaged for Z100, played by studio musicians, and sung by sluts in pleather tube tops. Never in a million years did I think I would have to eat those words when I walked the three blocks from work to The Fillmore at Irving Plaza to see Australian female pop-rock duo, The Veronicas.
As I made my way through the throngs of people scattered across the venue I could hear the squeals of little girls awaiting the identical twin sisters to get onstage as the gays and near 30-year-old women began to already spill gin and tonics on the floor as they laughed with their girlfriends looking to the headliner of the night, Natasha Bedingfield.
The house lights dimmed and the sisters, Jessica and Lisa Origliasso, took their respective places on guitar and keys. Knowing very little background of the band before the show, I expected two Avril Lavignes to pop out with extensions and blonde hair, but instead the girls looked like they fell out of hipster Williamsburg, complete with dark wavy hair, red lipstick, skinny black pants, and a fedora. They looked more interesting than your average poppy vocalists and I doubt I could see either of them in pleather.
I was still quite nervous as the set began, afraid they were going to sound like Ashlee Simpson instead, but The Veronicas proved me wrong once again as they broke out into “Untouched,” a favorite of theirs to perform off their new album, Hook Me Up. Their sound is definitely more on the top side of music, but they fuse rock and roll licks and synth beats that push the envelope talent-wise. Past the time of singing and writing songs in their bedroom, the girls’ individual personalities shine through in their music as they collaborate more like a band onstage, rather than a pop girl duo by incorporating their older, but good-looking, all male musical support.
Next they played “Take Me On The Floor,” a cheeky potential radio hit in the vein of Katy Perry or Lily Alan. The song is pretty sassy, but furthermore, the girls displayed their vocal strength and versatility as they channeled their inner Karen O, front woman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
As their six-song set progressed their spark began to fade as they performed older hits like “4ever.” It made me ask myself if those types of pop anthems are what the girls wanted to be singing. Maybe it was fatigue, but it seemed pretty clear that those songs were in the past, but felt compelled to perform them live because their international fame stemmed from their popularity.
Attempting to break out of the box, the Origliasso twins performed “Brother Brother,” an ‘80s rock tune inspired by the likes of modern screamo and hardcore genres. As the bridge started, one of the girls let out a yell like a small dying mammal. Completely out of character, I will give it an “E” for effort although a now defunct cock rock band would have been into the attempted scream. It’s hard to have a good yell when you are only 100 lbs. though.
I hate to admit, but I had fun watching The Veronicas. I would totally play them in my car on a hot summer day. Well, I would if I had a car here in New York.