A Strange Performance by Giant Drag's Annie Hardy at Detroit Bar Over the Weekend
Dec. 4, 2010
The first apology in this blog post comes straight from my heart. I didn't bring a camera to this gig because I didn't intend to cover it.
I made the trek to Detroit Bar on Saturday night to check out Long Beach band Two Guns, whose singer, Kevin Poush, works in OC Weekly's advertising department, and whose bassist Harris Pittman, is our web editor's significant other. They put on a lively show to a packed house. 'Nuff said.
The second apology in this blog post will hopefully come from the singer of the evening's headliner, Giant Drag. Annie Hardy put on one of the worst live shows I've ever seen by a signed band. Between songs and sips of Red Bull, the waify, svelte vocalist with the child-like voice spoke in a slow, spacey slur and rambled excessively about Fibromyalgia, foot injuries and other such nonsense. The only thing worse than this inter-song drivel was her atrocious guitar playing. Yes, it seemed she was under the influence of some potent pharmaceuticals.
On songs such as the uber catchy "Kevin is Gay" off 2005's Hearts and Unicorns, Hardy's wonky vocals seemed to follow an invisible, off-kilter percussionist as opposed to the actual beats layed down by drummer Micah Calabrese, who was in full control of his faculties. Making matters worse, Hardy would slide her hand across the fret board of her guitar and repeatedly strike the wrong chords.
Yet something about the affair struck me as odd. Throughout the entire performance, a woman who claimed to be Hardy's aunt was enthusiastically snapping photos of her niece with a large telephoto lens. According to the woman, Hardy's mother was also in attendance. Neither woman appeared concerned.
Though the crowd had thinned considerably by the time Giant Drag took the stage, the 30 or so people in attendance were all supportive and not one heckle was uttered. In addition, there didn't appear to be any on-stage tension between Hardy and Calabrese.
Though I had no access to toxicology tests or a sample of Hardy's urine, something about the whole performance felt scripted. My suspicions were reinforced when I approached Hardy following the show and had a brief but lucid conversation with her about a mutual acquaintance. She also signed a vinyl single I purchased. Judging by her flowery hand writing, it would appear she was firing on all cylinders. Although to fake drug intoxication for an audience who paid the price of admission would suggest otherwise.