People talk about Le Butcherettes’ shows like Ahab spoke of the white whale. The band came out on the stage, began playing and just when the audience thought they were prepared all hell broke loose. Yet, each tale conveys complete respect, starry-eyed awe and exaggeration that once was all based in truth. While no artificial blood was spilled Monday night, Le Butcherettes destroyed The Studio at Webster Hall.
The Mexican garage punk band played seventeen songs that began with “The Leibniz Language” and ended with “La Uva,” which originally featured Iggy Pop. Throughout the entire set, lead singer Teri Gender Bender, spewed lyrics and danced across the stage like a woman possessed. One moment she was wearing holes in her red tights by spider crawling from end to end and the next she was staring down the audience with daggers in her eyes. And if you couldn’t locate her on stage chances are she was in the crowd.
Gender Bender, with the help of the anchoring beat of Chris Commons on drums, wove whimsical and dark lyrics with theatrical performance. In “Sold Less Than Gold,” the frontwoman recounted the devastating story of a 13 year old who was sold as a sex slave for “less than gold.” While the topic is unsettling, it is the musical presentation and tone that make the song unnerving. The sing-song melody with hints of synth lure you into thinking that you are listening to a happy song. Once you listen to the lyrics you learn that the woman is suffering.
Gender Bender’s ability to enchant listeners while providing them with truth is one reason why her theatrics are so effective. Another, is she participates in the chaos she creates. The audience headbanged to “Shave the Pride,” the title track off of the group’s newest album A Raw Youth and then sung along to a raucous version of Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball.” With each word, Gender Bender forced the bangers to shake harder and sing louder.
Le Butcherettes has released three albums and has toured with The Melvins, Jane’s Addiction, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Flaming Lips and the Stooges. If you live in the tri-state area you have another chance to see one of their fabled performances live. The garage outfit plays Rough Trade in Brooklyn tonight, March 9th.
Article: Alx Bear