Despite the cloudy and gloomy weather outside of the Masquerade last Wednesday night the 14th of June, the inside of the crowded Hell venue seemed to be anything but. With a stacked lineup featuring Atlanta’s own Bitter, lo-fi bedroom pop band Snail Mail, and the iconic duo that is Girlpool, this was a night that truly left a mark on all music lovers.
Before lead singer Maritza was able to get a word in, she was interrupted by a shout-out of admiration from the crowd. Female latinx queer-punk band Bitter has developed their own personal character in Atlanta’s music scene, having the perfect amount of uniqueness and welcoming sense of self-identity to be able to pick up fans at almost every gig they’ve played. From being recognized by larger events such as Afropunk and opening up for notable artists such as Julien Baker, it is no surprise that they would give us a powerful yet humble start to an incredible night.
Baltimore rock band Snail Mail took the stage next. Despite their initial innocent appearance, they managed to convince the Masquerade venue that small packages can deliver huge surprises. By the time they finished their opening song the audience was already gripped by their playful personalities and powerful music. While lead singer Lindsey Jordan may be incredibly young, it is clear to see that she has developed a quality of sound and unique sense of lyricism wise beyond her years. Reminiscent of the perfect balance between Eskimeaux and All Dogs, Snail Mail was able to attract and gain the admiration of vast music lovers alike.
Girlpool captures raw and intimate emotion, and despite the venue being in a larger space, made the show seem as if they were standing right in the middle of our living room. As they were welcomed onto the stage it was clear that this would be unlike any of the previous shows of theirs that I’ve been able to experience. Instead of just the vocalizations and instrumentals of both Cleo Tucker and Harmony Tividad, Girlpool’s newest album involves a full band giving them an even larger and more impressive sound than before. Opening up with their first single off their third and most recent album, Powerplant, the audience immediately began to sway and sing along to the lovable new release. While most long-term fans took a little time to adjust and get used to there being more than just the original duo on stage, the crowd reaction was familiar and the focus never left the duo. While performing songs with stunning harmonies such as “Cornerstore”, it seemed as if the room stood to a complete still, much like shows in the past. Between light and witty banter, breaking several strings, brief Steve Miller Band covers, and even inviting a fan with a fidget spinner on stage, Girlpool had the capability of shaking Atlanta in the best way possible. They brought a unique show clearly displaying the admirable connection the band had with one another and with their entire fan-base at the Masquerade last Wednesday night. /- written by Emily Perlman
All photos by Cole Martin