Getting Sparkly: A Review of PWR BTTM at The Vera Project

Banner Photo by Andrew Piccone for Miscreant and Father/Daughter Records


Photo courtesy of PWR BTTM’s Official Facebook Page

PWR BTTM creates a unique community at their shows. The audience members, like the singers, are involved, passionate, and respectful, all with an overarching sparkliness. The night consisted of commentary on all things ranging from hot Canadian border patrol, Dolly Parton, and tiny cowboy hats. All of that combined with PWR BTTM, Lisa Prank, and Bellows’ “feel good and have a good time while learning a little bit” musical madness, and you’ve got a great time.

Due to a very unfortunate Uber situation, reporter Anna Kaplan and I were left wandering lost in Speedleville and unable to see opener Lisa Prank’s set. From what I heard from the patrons around me, Lisa Prank played a fairly short set but brought onstage a member of Tacocat, and who doesn’t love Tacocat? Lisa Prank’s newest Adult Teen contains a really unique style of girl punk commentary on broken hearts and more, but with a very distinct twist, making me bummed I missed their set.

With getting there just in time to see the beginning of Bellows, we noticed that his recordings sounded like an absolutely encompassing mix of Sufjan Stevens and Porches. His soft voice and singer-songwriter lyrics, mixed with some under-arching funky beats and a little Porches-esque vocal modification, created a unique brand of music for Bellows. He brought a little more energy to his live show, notably relying more on his guitar. Some songs that shined live and are worth a listen include “Orange Juice” and “Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.”

The first thing PWR BTTM did when they walked onstage (after a little lighthearted banter about a cute Canadian border patrol cop) was to thank The Vera Project, introduce their show as a safe space, and implore its guests to be tolerant of one another and each other’s space. This sentiment for a safe and inviting concert space radiated from the crowd during PWR BTTM’s entire performance. Even though some of the songs PRW BTTM sang contained some heavy content, and content that challenges you to remember that awful moment when you saw your ex in public, there was so much love and happiness in the room. They played through some of their signature hits including two of my favorites, “Dairy Queen” and “C U Around.”

PWR BTTM played some new songs for us, asking us not to record them so they can be a surprise for their release date (which was not mentioned at the show, but is hopefully soon). These new songs stayed true to that “fun but will give you a message that will stick”-style of PWR BTTM, and with a new spin that I’m excited for y’all to hear.

After some strange incident with a chicken mask and a fan throwing a hat on stage that said “Big Daddy,” PWR BTTM agreed to play not one but two encores, with the dedicated crowd dancing and singing along.

A combination of Bellows and PWR BTTM made for a beautiful night. I was first introduced to Bellows while researching this show, and have become a huge fan since. PWR BTTM went above and beyond during their set to make all crowd members feel welcome and safe, and their music shined on its own. PWR BTTM is dealing with a crisis at the moment, however, as their van was recently stolen with all of their gear and merchandise. The band has continued to play shows like the absolute rockstars they are, but you can follow the progress of their search on their Twitter here.

JULIA OLSON | Off to Canada! | KXSU Head Reporter



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