Review: CSS at the Bluebird Theater, 10/13/11
CSS at BLUEBIRD THEATER | 10/13/11
Just to be clear, no one has as much fun at a CSS show as the band does. Led by four tiny Brazilian women, the electronic heavy punk-pop band must be the cutest living badasses. Three albums and eight years into a career spent dancing to their own music as much as creating it, the members of CSS have made it impossible to equal their revelry. In the meantime, the point is to try.
Lovefoxxx is the tiny band's tiny lead singer, but she doesn't technically sing. What she does instead, while speak-shouting in a lilting Brazilian accent, is the robot. Many of Lovefoxxx's considerable dance moves are filched from film, but there's some Matrix in there along side some Footloose -- and was that just the Carlton? The band's sound is a heavy and gutsy blend of funk, soul and modern electro-pop that sounds almost defiant of the women's definitively adorable aesthetic.
Lovefoxxx, a show-woman from start to finish, somehow managed to conduct three costume changes by the time the band launched into its third song. Journeying from the bitter "You Could Have It All" to the aggressively dance-focused "Hits Me Like a Rock" and then "Move," she lost a pair of tear-away pants, a black bob wig, a silver cat mask and a bedazzled black vest and replaced them with a messy pink mane and what must legitimately be the world's smallest shorts. The crowd dancing along to her carefully managed mayhem was a small one, not even half the capacity of the Bluebird, but the level of dancing in the first third of the crowd made it tough to care about that.
At its core, and despite its band name (Cansei de Ser Sexy is Portuguese for "got tired of being sexy"), CSS is one of the sexiest modern bands, and it comes out in the transitions between songs. The act's lead singer might be a cross between Zooey Deschanel and Nancy Spungen, but there's an extra helping of Karen O in there somewhere, and when she's not caped and crooning mega-hit "Let's Make Love (and Listen to Death From Above" (labeled just "Let's Fuck" on the setlist), she's writhing on the ground during "I Love You." The band split its three albums almost judicially, placing dance jams between crooners and letting reggae bleed into funk and then to a song with "Reggae" even in the title.
"Alright, Denver, it's 9:52 p.m." Lovefoxxx told the crowd during one in a handful of merciful breaks from gyration. "Its your time to shine." It was only rarely possible to escape the glittery stratosphere to realize you were dancing, most likely poorly, in a half-empty crowd while a woman in shorts the size f underwear swings her mike around like a banshee, and that was definitely for the best. In perhaps her finest moment, Lovefoxxx chose an (equally tiny) front-row dancer and invited her onstage before finishing the song, picking the girl up and placing her back in her spot. Lovefoxxx is equal parts chaos and courtesy.
And when the dance party came to a halt, it was only to start another party. Yesterday, it seems, was the birthday of CSS sound guy Tyler, and his thirty years were marked by an encore of the kind of moderately epic proportions that can only come with a Bluebird show. "Thanks, guys," Lovefoxxx told the crowd one last time. "And don't forget: Fuck everything."
Personal Bias: One of my greatest regrets in life is the fact that I am not Lovefoxxx.
By the Way: Why, you ask? Because she can do the robot while lying on the ground...
Random Detail: while drinking a water bottle upside down.
Bluebird Theater - Denver, CO
01. "You Could Have It All"
02. "Off the Hook"
03. "Hits Me Like a Rock"
05. "Red Alert"
06. "Let's Make Love (and Listen To Death From Above)"
07. "Jager Yoga"
08. "Fuck Everything"
09. "Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex"
10. "Reggae All Night"
11. "I Love You"
13. "City Grrrl"
14. "Art Bitch"
Follow Backbeat on Twitter: @westword_music
Get the Music Newsletter