I could have simply filled this post with “Whitney Tribute”, linked the above video in all its tender, touching and tearful glory, and it would have fit Dan’s brief for this series nicely. But that would have been playing to the gallery.
I was really looking forward to my imaginary fiancée Feist’s set, but it fell short of my expectations. (Sorry luv.) What lived up to my expectations was Girls’ excellent set. From the 1-2-3 opening punch of “I Will Always Love You”, “Lust for Life” and “Laura”, through the earnest “Love Like A River” and to the rip-roaring “Morning Light”, Christopher Owens, Chet “JR” White and their band harmonised with the emotional frequency of Saturday’s tragic news, and never let up except during the strangely muted closing chorus of “Hellhole Ratrace”. The crowd sang along, Owens cried (“Don’t cry!”), pumped his fists, climbed up the drum stand, and at the end of the set the band threw the flowers gracing the stage – their stage trademark – into the audience.
The set closer “Morning Light” was signature Girls circa Album – the band punched very hard all song yet emoted sweetness and vulnerability through Owens’s wide-eyed croon. If Nirvana and The Pixies popularised loud-quiet dynamics, Girls are the masters at embedding a soft, sensitive core within a hard, tough body of sound. It’s easy to think that they are mellowing when you compare their recent output to the debut Album, but in truth they have always had an emotionally delicate DNA. – Eugene.