By Tom Beedham
For what was once referred to pretty unanimously as Daniel Lee and April Aliermo’s Hooded Fang side project, oddball party powerhouse Phèdre has absorbed plenty of its own attention. The group’s already followed up its February 2012 self-titled debut LP with another—Golden Age—recorded in Berlin, and when the group headlined the opening night of WL14, there was a devoted fanbase packed into the Silver Dollar to sing along to its happily weird and mind-bending anthems.
Decked out in all white hoodies that made perfect blank canvases they opened with a (presumed) hype speech delivered in German by impassioned, scarf-disguised Hooded Fang bandmate D. Alex Meeks (Holiday Rambler), who next theatrically tripped, fell, and lay on the stage floor for some time. The topple looked legitimate, though not severe enough to require any attention. Whatever the situation, Phèdre’s live performances seem to make striving for perfection less a virtue than they do letting loose and having fun. They took it all in stride and proceeded into the early hours of Valentine’s Day with Golden Age intro “Inifinity Chamber.”
That spirit seemed consistent throughout the sometimes wobbly, always danceable performance. Aliermo even commented on the title-referencing lyrics to “Atomic Love” mid-song: “what the fuck does that mean?!”
Even when technical difficulties required some waiting between tracks early in the set, Aliermo—ever the MC—used the space between “Supernatural” and “Aquarius” to wish frequent Phèdre dancer Leah Gold a Happy Birthday and suggested the crowd give her “hugs, kisses, birthday shots, licks, or whatever makes you feel happy.”
For the most part, the group stuck to cuts from Golden Age, but the band did forego a rendition of its “Death of Cupid” narrative. A happy night for Valentines indeed.
Originally published by Aesthetic Magazine.