Savages cannot, and will not, be contained to a genre. Saturday’s exhilarating show at the Granada with the London-based band proved it. The femme fury-fueled rockers can simultaneously weave punk and poetry (along with love and anger) into one hell of a performance, and there’s no way to ever predict what will come out of a band as adventurous as Savages.

Vocalist Jehnny Beth may as well have defined what it means to engage an audience. Her showmanship alone is noteworthy, but she had fans fist pumping in solidarity with her throughout the entire show. When she addressed the crowd (whether it be while she was singing, reciting poetry, or addressing the religious fanatic protestors that had gathered outside the venue), they hung on her every word. But the dialogue between Beth and the audience felt less like a lecture, and more like a conversation. By the end, they were not only consuming her words, but holding her up like the leader she is while she crowd surfed across her subjects— all while Gemma Thompson’s ruthless guitar riffs wailed in a manner that produced heart throbbing and mind racing styles of music. The Savages show may have been one of the most bodacious sets to ever grace the stage (and our hands) in months.

The rockers were joined by Angus Tarnawsky, an Australian wizard who pulled out all the stops when it came to producing his ambient instrumental noise. He utilized a manner of magnificent mallets to beat on drums, gongs, and whatever else he had sprawled across his table while crashing sounds looped to a steady beat. Tarnawsky’s songs could be felt vibrating in your kneecaps. No cartilage was spared! This was music to lose your balance to.

Words and photos by Fally Afani



Fally Afani is an award-winning journalist with a career spanning more than 20 years in media. She has worked extensively in radio, television, newspapers, magazines, and more.

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