Never judge a book but it’s cover. That being said, always judge a show by the artwork or imagery. Okay, I don’t really mean that but the only reason I ended up at the 7th Street Entry on Friday night was due to the photo attached to the show. It was a photo of ZAND. ZAND looked completely other-wordly with pointy ears, a lingerie inspired outfit, and it had this vibe of almost sinister energy. I was intrigued and, with not much else happening in town on Friday, I knew this was the show for me.

Kicking things off at the intimate venue was the only band I knew anything about in the line-up: Surly Grrly. I first caught this local act back in May at The Turf Club and it was my goal to see them again sooner rather than later as they had left me so impressed on that fateful night. The quartet wasted no time jumping into their set that came with a true Riot Grrrl energy and enough sass to leave me completely satisfied. This band is one of those “you just have to see them live” kind of bands. Sure, their music is amazing and it has definitely found a place in the daily playlists of my life but it’s their live shows that truly impress.

I cannot put the amount of energy this band brings to a stage into words. Although they are first and foremost a protest band with a lot of important things to say throughout their tracks, they have a sense of fun laying out all of their thoughts for the audience. Their live show is so full of rage, passion, and fire that it’s impossible to get through one of their sets without feeling empowered and ready to take on the world. That’s exactly what they did to me on Friday night. Their set was short but it made an impact on me and clearly on the rest of the young audience which made me happy. The lyrical content, as mentioned, is super important and I loved the fact that the audience seemed to be taking it all in and taking all of the words to heart.

Up next was Lucy Loone. Whereas Surly Grrly took the stage with an undeniable sense of rage and power, Lucy Loone took the stage with an undeniable sense of beauty. Their vocals soared through the PA as they opened with a delicate song that truly showcased their gorgeous vocals but that didn’t last. Everything changed as Lucy and their DJ jumped into the second song which blew the opening track out of the water as far as energy and rage goes. I don’t quite know how to describe Lucy’s sound but I saw someone else out there call it “Trap alt-pop” and, honestly, I think that’s the best way to describe it. It had lucious vocals but a very harsh beat to it. Add the live performance into the mix and I was left with something completely out of my normal wheelhouse.

Think a Nicki Minaj and Millionaires based performance on RuPaul’s Drag Race as part of a Lip Sync For Your Life finale. Okay, that sounds harsh. Let me explain this before you jump down my throat. The Nicki Minaj element comes from Lucy’s performance. There was something almost mechanical about some of their movements on stage that instantly reminded me of old school Nicki videos. The Millionaires part comes from the pretty yet dirty vibe. Lucy looked absolutely gorgeous on Friday night but the lyrics were dark and dirty throughout the set. The RuPaul part comes from the fact that they were lip syncing throughout the set. I’m not trying to throw them under the bus or anything like that but it’s just a fact. Although I’m not one for lip syncing, the energy and live performance that Lucy was giving the audience made up for this and I was able to look past it a little bit.

I was excited as the stage was quickly changed over for headlining act ZAND. ZAND is an ugly-pop innovator. Never heard of ugly-pop? No worries, I hadn’t either until Friday night but I think I may be hooked. Kind of like I was explaining with Lucy Loone, ugly-pop is that blend of pop-superstar with something a bit more sinister and, well, ugly. It’s a weird concept but just one performance from ZAND and, I promise, it will make sense.

They started their set with “DTF” and, by about half way through that opening song, I was captivated. It wasn’t quite like a car crash as their set was flawless and oddly beautiful but there was this weird element to their set that had me constantly wondering what was going to happen next. Somehow ZAND commanded the modest crowd with ease. They didn’t have to do much to get the audience in a frenzy. Something as small as a hairflip would have the excited and young audience cheering for more. I didn’t quite get it and, if I’m being honest, the music wasn’t quite for me but I loved the theatrics of the set. They were subtle and not as over the top as I had thought they would be but they were there and kept me hooked.

ZAND’s sound had a little bit of everything behind it but seemed to lean a bit more into the metal and industrial side of things whereas Lucy Loone’s sound had a more rap and pop influence to it. This made it just a bit more relatable for me but it was still unlike anything I had heard before. There were moments where there was a mosh pit starting in my soul but others where I just wanted to throw my hands up and jump around a bit. I felt like I was going through the ringer as far as genres was concerned but that was just another thing about ZAND that had me stuck in the palm of their hand.

I’m not going to say that I’m going to be going down the ugly-pop rabbit hole anytime soon but I will say that Friday night’s show was completely foreign to me and that made for an exciting time. Don’t ever judge a book by its cover but go ahead and get intrigued by the imagery from a musician. If it sparks questions or intrigue, go for it. Go see what it’s about and immerse yourself in a whole new world.

Line Up:

Surly Grrly

Lucy Loone


Venue:  7th Street Entry

Smell-O-Meter: Nothing Notable

Average Age of the Crowd: 19

Crowd Surfers- 0

Stage Divers- 0

Mosh-ability- 2 out of 10

Amount of Beer Spilled On Me While Walking Around- $0

Broken Bones- None Noticed

Spotted Flying Through The Air- Nothing

Fights- None Witnessed

Pukers- 0

Passed Out Kids- 0

Idiots Taken Out By Security – 0

How Irritated I Was With The Audience – 0 out of 10

How Many Times I’ve Seen These Bands Before (or at least how many times I can remember)-

Surly Grrly – 1

Lucy Loone – 0

ZAND – 0

Celebrity Sightings – None

Overall Score – 7 out of 10

Show on Deck — Dosh / Explosions in the Sky

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