STRFKR, Kitten, and Deap Vally at The Midland

Like many others, last weekend I put on a dress  and went to prom. Except this prom had no Top 40 music, king and queen ceremony, or fancy dinners of any kind. That’s because this was Afentra’s Prom, a yearly event put on by 96.5 The Buzz. But as the lineup was alternative, of course I as a KSDB member had to go check it out.

I arrived halfway into the Deap Vally set, missing the first band (Alicia Solo) completely. Deap Vally is a two piece LA girl band that sounds like a mixture of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and Letters to Cleo, and they were dressed like glam rockstars from the eighties. They were a great way to get pumped up for the rest of their show. You can listen to their music here, but fair warning: their music videos are really cool, but they sounded better live. After they performed a DJ came out and played popular 80s songs (“Sweet Caroline”, “Don’t Stop Believing”, etc.) mixed with dubstep. The genres aren’t something I’ve heard before, but it sounded suprisingly good.

STRFKR ended the night. While it was amazing to see them perform Ronald Gregory the Second while front row in a prom dress, but the rest of their show fell flat. Similarly to what I encountered with Two Door Cinema Club, STRFKR didn’t really interact with their bands, they didn’t have any merch, and there was no light show for people to pay attention to. I’ve been told their concerts aren’t usually like that, so I don’t know what was going on,

Now I went to the concert expecting to mainly write a review about STRFKR, but Kitten completely stole the show. If you haven’t hearad of them, Kitten is alternative/pop with a lot of eighties influence (I guess there was a running theme). Chloe, the vocalist, came out wearing a completely white outfit that most people in the 2000s would be envious of: gogo boots, baggy pants, a crop top, and a trench coat. She wildly danced around the stage, jumped off the drum set, and stood on the metal partition to grab the audiences’ hands, all while singing and sounding amazing. Throughout the set a saxophone player and two backup singers would come out and perform too, the whole group playing during the middle of the set. They played a cover of “Careless Whisper” by George Michael, followed by “G#”, which I was suprised I knew. Chloe ended the song by crowd surfing while still singing into a corded microphone, which is something I had never seen before. My friend and I commented that there was no way she could top that (which she did, but we’ll get to that in a second).

After a quick costume change, the second half of the set was just as much fun. Chloe got on one of the security guard’s shoulders and then got his name (Jim) and had the crowd applaud him and the other guards for their work. She then jumped into the middle of the crowd and had a dance party, and ended the night by free-climbing the side of the stage and jumping into the crowd.

Now is Kitten the kind of music I usually listen to? No. If all bands did the same thing she did, would I get sick of it? Yes. But it was prom, and it was fun. And hopefully next time I see STRFKR, I’ll enjoy the performance more.

By: Monica Brich

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