Show Review: Perfect Pussy at Kantine am Berghain 05/08/14

Perfect PussyThe scene outside Berghain’s Kantine last Tuesday was a busy one, with punk rockers and indie kids alike gathered in the outdoor beer garden, poised to soak up the setting sun. But as the first strains of Berlin-based hardcore band PISS emerged from inside the venue, people began dutifully filing in to brave the heat for the trio. Last year, the group released a demo tape consisting of nine songs clocking in at under 20 minutes, and the set was consistent with what people have come to expect from PISS. Some fans in the front moshed along, while further back, others bobbed their heads along with the raw, aggressive punk sound that a band name like PISS easily suggests.

After a short respite from the heat back outdoors, Berlin band Business Lunch took the stage. Consisting of a couple of expats from the Pacific Northwest backed by Noisy Pig on drums, the trio played a mix of lo-fi riot grrrl tunes sprinkled with German lyrics, silly accessories, and sassy stage banter, while Exberliner web editor Walter Crasshole went through the crowd passing out bananas and peaches. Then it was back outside again to await the headliner.

Perfect Pussy SetlistPerfect Pussy hit the stage, and by then, the Kantine was packed full. Unfortunately, not only was the heat unbearable, but the sound was subpar by just about any standard, though it hurt more considering the €12 entrance fee for a hardcore show (reputation of the venue aside). The band was on point, but vocalist Meredith Graves’ voice could hardly be heard, even after a midway request for her mic to be turned up. No matter for the Syracuse, New York-based five-piece; Perfect Pussy played as an energetic, dynamic front, tearing through most of the tracks on this year’s debut, “Say Yes to Love.” There were few words spoken in between each song, as the band navigated the 30-minute set with expert precision and unforgiving aural ferocity. At the end, Graves was a perfect picture of performance art, keeled over on the stage, arms outstretched, drenched in sweat and emitting a radiant glow. Then, without a word, all the members left the stage, save for keyboardist Shaun Sutkus, who remained until the finals notes of “Advanced Upon the Real” rang out into the room, signaling the end.

 

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