On Friday, Feb. 23 an ample crowd gathered at the High Noon Saloon to witness both the musical and aesthetic dream that is Porches.
Kevin Krauter of the band Hoops opened the night with his sincere, honeyed vocals and introspective lyrics. The sad, echoed lyric “Don’t you forget me now…” sobered the buzzing crowd and reeled in intense focus. Krauter’s vocals were fleshed out by sweet melodies and a medley of percussion sounds. The audience was very still and transfixed by the layers of sound, and it was difficult not to dissect the synth-based tones. It is safe to assume that many of the concert goers were most likely familiar with Hoop’s lo-fi tracks, and many reacted warmly to Krauter’s set. The band gave off a very relaxed and somewhat stoic vibe with little movement in their performance. This was truly complementary to their sound, however, it left the crowd hungry for more danceable tracks.
The low-key brunette trio, Girl Ray, entered onto the stage to perform their indie set. Vocalist and guitarist Poppy Hankin greeted the audience with a British accent that surprised the crowd and drew out further questions. “Where are you from?” Was a question commonly hurled at the band, and Poppy responded coyly, “We’re from London. We’ve never been here before.”
Girl Ray charmed the audience with their sweet lyrics and dreamy harmonies. Songs like “Stupid Things” were relatable with lines like, “Just to feel close to you / I’ve never done so many stupid things / Just to make myself new…” As they moved from track to track, there was a mix of slow, lulling songs and others with a lively tempo. The audience responded accordingly, and many swayed to the beat while becoming acquainted with Girl Ray’s music. They ended their set with an especially upbeat number. Hankin and bassist Sophie Moss pulled off a very cute synchronized dance that drew appreciation from the crowd, and afterwards left the stage with a bittersweet goodbye. While the audience clearly appreciated the last track, the performance was beginning to feel monotonous and the crowd needed to be re-energized by the signature sound of Porches.
Finally, Porches took to the stage, and many ogled at the mysterious aesthetics of the band. The face of Porches’ Aaron Maine seemed enigmatic behind the microphone, circling the stage with a model-like saunter. He addressed an awakened crowd with a mumbled, soft greeting where you really had to lean in to catch his words. His movements and dances were feminine and charismatic. Aaron was clearly the star of the show, and his somewhat bizarre persona only made him more alluring.
The band played through songs off of their three albums, and each one was greeted with the same cheer that signaled familiarity and excitement. The lively and electronic based “Mood” turned the passive sways of the audience into full body motions. The moody synths entranced the crowd, and many were drawn to the talents of the other members as well. Bassist Maya Laner stunned the crowd with her angelic voice that served as the perfect compliment to Maine’s more raw tone.
Overall, Porches delivered a unique visual and musical experience to an appreciative crowd. They drew a fashionable, large audience that expected nothing less than the otherworldly antics of Aaron Maine. By the end of the night, everyone was a believer in the synth magic of Porches.