Chastity Belt, Lala Lala and Planet What – Concert Review

The show of unexpected delights:

A Sunday trip to our step-sister-town, Lawrence, is always enjoyable for music-goers. After looking for some Penis’ on the walls of Java Break with some KSDB alumni, I was ready to go see my favorite femme band, Chastity Belt, sing about Vaginas. At least that was what I had expected, but was surprisingly wrong about.

The show started with Planet What, a three piece group from Tulsa Oklahoma, who are a wonderful trash-grunge-surf group. Screaming lyrics, or just screaming screams, and moving their entire bodies into a floppy head bob that moved the lead singer’s semi-dreaded black and pink hair in a wonderful motion. Planet What got my blood flowing and I was instantly a fan.

Second act was English, Chicago claimed, Lala Lala. Boy were they a delight. I studied up on Lala Lala before the show (as a good poser does). But as they say, seeing a band in person will always help you grow a better appreciation for a group than just listening to them through shitty 5 year old headphones. The same went for Lala Lala. At first glance the lead singer with her pink hair and a coloring book of random tattoos on her body gave off a harsher intimidating look. As the show went on that unapproachable edge was completely dismissed. They took requests, joked about their school years wearing uniforms. Most importantly though, they sang like it was coming right out of the studio. Lala Lala sang with enough, “little-care,” to make that edgy grunge come out so perfectly and boy was I satisfied.

Then came my reason for coming to the other side of the tracks. The four normal looking girls who have written songs that have represented all layers of being female in this day in age, from being surrounded by hypermasculinity, to tackling self-doubt and depression in a beautiful ever evolving sound, had walked out in front of the crowd in that basement, and dove right in.  

There was no small talk with the audience, just hypnotizing on-going songs from their newest album. They have stayed away from what some may remember them singing during their KEXP show, about Giant Vaginas, and Cool Sluts. This beautiful show showcased Chastity Belt’s evolved maturity that was refined even more in their newest album.

It was an unexpected delight understanding the growth this group has gone through. Like seeing the drummer and lead singer switch off half way through the set and how you can tell they are more comfortable with this new sound they have moved into in recent years. I’m glad I got to understand and see that in person. 

By: Sara Wallace




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