Live Review: Perez Hilton Presents Tour Featuring Ladyhawke and Ida Maria at 9:30 Club, Washington DC – 12 September 2009

By on Thursday, 17th September 2009 at 12:00 pm

b-perezhiltonPerez Hilton is known in America (and maybe all over the world too?) as a gossip monger of the highest degree. That is, he can find the dirt about just about anyone famous and no one can hide from him.

That’s why it was humorous to me to say the least – I think I choked with surprise – when I read on Ladyhawke‘s MySpace blog last month that he had decided to organise a North American tour featuring some of his favourite musical acts, the acts being Frankmusik (from London), Semi Precious Weapons (from New York City), Ida Maria (from Norway), and Ladyhawke (from New Zealand). “What does he know about music anyway?” was the collective response. Well, I can tell you after attending the Perez Hilton Presents tour at its spot here in Washington last Saturday, Mr. Hilton does know a thing or two about putting together a good tour line-up, and even managed emcee duties in D.C. as well.

g-frankmusik5Frankmusik was the first act up. Hilton quipped that this was the first-ever American show for Vincent Frank, which of course made the crowd go wild. He appeared in leather jacket and sunglasses, the coolest of the cool cats. Full of energy, he pogo-ed up and down all night, leading us on a bouncy, electropoppy voyage down Lovers’ Lane. He clearly enjoyed himself, saying how wonderful we were and how he felt so great after his first show in America (awww). And just as clear was the audience’s reception of him, based on the glow sticks and a pair of lacy, hot pink knickers that were chucked onto the stage during his set (::chuckle::) to which Frank replied, “I like!” He prefaced ‘Confusion Girl’ with “this is a slow one. You’ve gotta have a slow one. I dedicate this to a girl called Olivia” before taking to the piano. Singles ‘3 Little Words’ and his set-ender ‘Better Off as 2’ made girls and guys alike swoon in delight.

j-semiprecious2Next up was New York band Semi Precious Weapons, the only American act of the night. Think New York Dolls but coarser and rowdier and David Johansen wearing more eye makeup, and you can get a good mental picture. I can’t really say I cared for their brand of glam rock; glam rock is, by nature, mostly about shock value and I couldn’t really get into them, though they definitely kept the energy of the night going. All the people around me lapped up the flamboyant frontman Justin Tranter‘s every comment and lyric. I give that he is fun to watch, strutting around in very tight leggings and stiletto boots that only a brave woman would dare wear. So are his bandmates, whose guitarists jump around on stage with reckless abandon and a drum who looked like he might take off to the air if he hits his skins with his sticks hard enough. If you like boldness and crassness with your music, they just might be for you.

p-idamaria2Ida Maria came to my attention via the single ‘I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked’, which got a lot of video airplay on MTV here; inexplicably, this past spring MTV offered her the chance to host an hour of videos selected by her, usually an honour bestowed only on the biggest stars, not up-and-coming ones. From everything I’ve read, I knew that she was a tempermental artist – I guess I should be thankful that she actually completed a set, in contrast to the breakdown she had in Boston 2 nights later, leaving in the middle of the set with her band to carry on without her. She began with a song she introduced as “brand new, never heard before” called ‘Kitchen Floor’. The crowd appeared unfamiliar with her songs except for ‘I Like You…’ and ‘Oh My God’ but unlike with the other bands, the crowd was not engaged with her performance at all. This was really too bad, b/c her bandmates, especially guitarist Stefan Törnby, were really giving it their all, so the weakness of this performance could not be attributed to them but instead a generally lacklustre performance put in by their frontwoman.

Last but certainly not least was my absolute favourite of the night, the beautiful, talented creature that is Ladyhawke. I’d seen her perform at the Dot to Dot Festival in Nottingham on 24 May and was blown away. I am still in some disbelief and shock that less than 4 months later she was on a stage in my own hometown. But let me turn my attention back to her performance. After Ida Maria’s less than stellar performance, Ladyhawke knocked this one out of the park. Although soft-spoken and shy in between songs, she was able to command the entire audience at the 9:30 with her vocals and guitar-playing and my gosh, it was breathtaking. The obvious highlights were the singles ‘Paris is Burning’, ‘Dusk ‘Til Dawn’, and the set closer ‘My Delirium’. After Ladyhawke had left the stage, a very vocal crowd shouted long and loudly for a encore that never materialised. It’s a shame though – an encore to her adoring Washington fans would have really capped off a really great night for her in the Nation’s Capital.

After the jump: setlists and photos.


Frankmusik photos





Frankmusik’s set list:
Time Will Tell
When You’re Around
Gotta Boyfriend
Confusion Girl
3 Little Words
Done Done
Better Off as 2

Semiprecious Weapons photos


Semi Precious Weapons1


Ida Maria photos
Ida Maria1

Ida Maria2


Ida Maria3

Ladyhawke photos


Ladyhawke’s set list
Professional Suicide
Dusk ’til Dawn
Another Runaway
Love Don’t Live Here Anymore
Danny and Jenny
Better Than Sunday
Back of the Van
Paris is Burning
My Delirium

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