What to say about Savages…these are some badass ladies. The English quartet is known for their fierce and eerie delivery. Atmospheric guitar feedback, constant rumbling of bass and drums, topped off by Jehnny Beth’s maniacal vocals. It’s a caldron of punk-metal inflicting the feeling of claustrophobia.
...off of Savages Adore Life
Savages approach the stage, determination in their eyes. Blazers and bras, female furiousness, sounds boisterous and demanding. Their music doesn’t typically have a chorus, or any feel-good allure, but that’s what makes Savages so unique and intriguing. You couldn’t find anyone singing along to “Shut Up,” the forceful bass and gnawing guitar crunch just caused everyone’s heads to throb to the witchcraft concocted. It caused the performance to feel sacrificial, as lead singer Jehnny Beth crowd surfs — standing up! — lurking through the crowd for her next victim, like Helena Bonham Carter in Sweeny Todd. Slaughtering “I Am Here,” the screeching vocals and blazing lights following dumping cymbals smashed by drummer Fay Milton.
At times, the music was almost too intense, clumping into a cosmic bundle, drowning out the vocals. But you could not keep your eyes off of these ladies. Bassist Ayse Hassan incessantly swaying to Savages’ head-bobbing rhythms, guitarist Gemma Thompson’s dead-pan stare. The slow birth of “Adore” off their new record grasps the audience’s eyes and ears. The five-minutes of steady tremble contains the bare essentials — a sly bass line, simple drumbeats, and spacious guitar feedback. It develops into an anxious build-up that abruptly ends, leaving you in an echoing lurch.
These gorgon goddesses slayed San Diego’s Observatory with a grand finale joined by show openers Vengeful Barbers on the vulgar “Fuckers.” A bow and goodbye saved everyone on the encore, escorting themselves offstage, leaving the night on a high note.
- Concert: Savages, Vengeful Barbers
- Date: July 29
- Venue: Observatory North Park
- Seats: General admission