by Wesley Collett-Taylor | photo by Erik Shaw
Porches, a New York based dance pop group performed at Horseshoe Tavern Monday, April 11th with Your Friend and Alex G.
Your Friend played first, offering guitar and keyboard textures drenched in reverb while Taryn Miller’s voice sang indistinguishable words overtop. Miller was cursed by being the opening act, because while she and the band gave a solid performance, the crowd was distracted and gave very little in return. Alex G, on the other hand, received a ton of love. Blending a low-fi songwriting approach with a more traditional rock groove, G had the crowd shouting for more. His use of dissonance and unconventional song structure matched the emotional delivery of his lyrics – at times shouting, at times snarling. Porches’ Maya Laner joined Alex to close out his set in what may have been the happiest song of this set, and the highlight of the evening.
Porches began their show with some booty shaking. Aaron Maine stood with his back to the audience as a beat started up, shifting his hips in time with the bass drum, setting the tone for a very physical set. Porches is dance music for the “sway side to side at concerts” crowd, combining heavy use of synths, disco-era beats, and lonely lyrics. “I want to see everyone get freaky,” Maine declared, “it’s so hot, it’s so good. Feel free.” The crowd obliged.
This may be Maine’s project, but band deserves a lot of credit. The drums drive most of the songs, and the synth and guitar parts create the atmosphere for the emotional lyrics to really hit. Maya Laner does a killer job on bass, and also serves as a foil to Maine’s onstage persona – Maine is all serious stares while Laner gives the audience an over-exaggerated thumbs up. Porches offered a lot of variety into the set, spanning from straight ahead infectious dance music to idiosyncratic indie rock. The highlight of the set was without a doubt “Underwater,” which elicited shouts from the audience for its throbbing bass line.
Porches’ set was surprisingly short, only 50 minutes including encores, closing out with Maine playing the song “Xanny Bar” on his own. With everything else stripped away, it became obvious how strong Maine’s voice is, how in another world he could have been a singer-songwriter releasing music under his own name. He finished the song, and gave the audience a brief thumbs up before walking offstage.