WORDS BY ASHLEY EVERS, ASSOCIATE EDITOR
PHOTOS BY HAYLEY SNELL, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
After enduring multiple hardships on their last tour in 2017, Chastity Belt arrived at Der Rathskeller this month ready to kick off their winter headline tour in Madison. From the minute they stepped on stage, a wave of euphoria drifted over the crowd as the Seattle rock band played an intimate, versatile set. The constant movement and head-bobbing of the audience were both indications that all was well, and everyone present was feeling the music Chastity Belt is so proud to be sharing with their fans.
Vocalist Julia Shapiro was confident, along fellow guitarist Lydia Lund, bassist Annie Truscott, and Gretchen Grimm, all of whom share a kinship that is built on a decade of memories. Grimm sang a few songs as both herself and Shapiro took turns trading their microphones for drums, showcasing the breadth of their instrumental talent.
The performance featured tracks from the group’s most recent release — a self-titled record that showcases maturity and defiance through ten powerfully-backed songs. The simple yet mature confessional expressed through the album seemingly gave Shapiro and her bandmates the proper chance to reclaim their sound, before continuing to grow alongside one another on the road. Swirling melodies in “Ann’s Song” complement the themes of friendship and contemplation that radiate off the track. “Pissed Pants” closes out the album, slowing things down to showcase the tight harmonic vocals of the group.
“Now I’m obsessing over endings / And all the things that are holding me back,” Shapiro proclaims.
Moving away from their dark, rebellious years and transitioning into a full sound featuring grungy guitar beats and vulnerable lyrics, the group has covered all of their bases in the world of indie-rock. Their most loved song, “Different Now,” features a captivating looped instrumental from start to finish. Even without a chorus, this track is both melancholy and exciting with filtered guitars and animated percussion. “Seattle Party” from their 2013 album No Regerts closed out the show with dizzying rhythms and a moody chorus.
At this rate, these women will continue to steal the hearts of fans through their honest and captivating presence. Their energetic performance proved these women are ready to buckle up and take their audacious sexuality and rock flair to the next level.
Preceding Chastity Belt was Philadelphia-based rock band Strange Ranger.
This show was brought to us by WUD Music.
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