The moment I entered the Schine Underground I found myself drawn to a table in the back corner. There I found more glitter and Ring Pops than I had ever seen at once in my life, and if I hadn’t already known it would be a fantastic night that fact was solidified for me in those moments. My friends and I took turns smearing glitter on each other’s faces in preparation for one of our favorite, most sparkly bands to take the stage. That band was PWR BTTM.
High Waisted played first, gifting the crowd with an energetic set and ending things with a raw jam. They’re a female fronted act with a sort of surf rock sound and I made a point to add their feel-good tunes to my Spotify library after the show. They were a perfect act to warm up the crowd for the headliner.
PWR BTTM took the stage dressed to slay — Ben Hopkins in his usual drag, face absolutely taken over by various colors of glitter, and Liv Bruce clad in an adorable, pink floral jumpsuit and white sneakers. The saying may be “look good, feel good,” but in PWR BTTM’s case I think it may be “look good, play better” because their set obliterated and transcended any and all expectations I had upon entering the venue.
They opened with “West Texas” off of their LP Ugly Cherries. With Ben on guitar and Liv on drums, as is normally the protocol, an uncontrollable smile spread across my face as I felt the crowd’s aura unite joyfully and seamlessly. My friends and I sang along passionately with one another and, at least on my end, yelled the lyrics back to Ben not quite so beautifully.
Things got a little emotional as “C U Around” made its way into the crowd’s eager ears, and Liv, who’d taken to the mic and strings for this track, relayed to us the story behind the song. One of a boy they’d been with in college – a boy they still talk to despite this dysfunctional nature of such a relationship.
Now, maybe I’m biased because I love PWR BTTM as it is, but I couldn’t stop wiggling and dancing throughout the entirety of the set despite some considerable back pain. Maybe PWR BTTM is my own personal painkiller — and such a painkiller was extra strong on that wonderful September evening as the band blessed us with new, unreleased music.
The night wouldn’t have been complete without classics like “I Wanna Boi,” “Ugly Cherries” and “Dairy Queen.” The crowd was engaged the whole time, through witty banter, stories and jamming during their favorite tracks. PWR BTTM connected with the audience in a remarkable way.
At the end of the night I found myself only wanting more of everything I had just experienced, which I later got in the form of sparkles in my belly button. PWR BTTM made all of my most glittery dreams come true.