The Blow (Mikhaela Maricich) has been around for well over a decade but I’ll admit that I’m not very familiar with her work and didn’t know what to expect at her show at the Old Rock House.
In the parking lot, I walked by a group that was dressed in outfits that may have been pilfered from a pack of wandering gypsies. They turned out to be the five-piece opening act, He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, who concocted a mix of folk, AM rock and swing. I didn’t really see the musical connection between HMBSMS and the Blow, but who cares, I was too busy marveling at the drummer / tap dancer doing her thing.
You know those people that look intense and intimidating but end up being really funny? Seeing the Blow for the first time was kind of like meeting one of those people. With an icy seriousness she strangely combed her hair for nearly 30 seconds and later awkwardly laid on the ground to put on heels given to her from an unnamed pop star. I started to have Ariel Pink flashbacks. But after a few songs, I started to get the joke and enjoy her humor, which culminated in Mikhaela lampooning pop starlet moves with the aid of a smoke machine, spotlights and fans. Musically, it was just her singing over prerecorded beats and while I would have loved to see more live instrumentation, I can’t deny that it still sounded pretty awesome. People were dancing, so it was definitely working.
The Good: The Blow bringing in her own stage lights. Afternoon rain breaking the heatwave before the show. The painted HMBSMS bass. Six Row Whale Ale.
The Bad: Supposedly, the tour was a continuation of a collaboration with artist Melissa Dyne, but I didn’t really get how that aspect played out. Was it via the monologues in between songs? I went in expecting crazy sculptures on stage or wacked out projections, which completely wasn’t the case.
The Irrelevant: Finished The Tooth by Cullen Bunn / Shawn Lee / Matt Kindt – monsters vs. molars.