SPACE Bar was packed with concert goers excited to see beloved Chastity Belt on Friday, August 4th.
Any given Friday or weekend show usually sees the biggest and most enthusiastic crowds. The Chastity Belt show was no exception. SPACE Bar’s patrons may have been sweaty and slightly uncomfortable due to the amount of people squeezed into the tiny venue, but many danced and sang along with Chastity Belt’s mellow yet engaging set.
San Diego locals Exasperation (a project including David Mead formerly of Cuckoo Chaos) started off the night with a set featuring catchy indie rock and alternative tunes. They’ve only got a couple things recorded but are currently working on a full length.
Never Young from Oakland played next and turned heads that were there to see Chastity Belt. “What are they called?” asked several admirers in the front row. Reminiscent of prog rock band Wand and indie rock group DIIV, Never Young’s instrumentation was both complex and energetic with plenty of catchy hooks and driving riffs. Never Young has been touring with Chastity Belt on their jaunt across the U.S. but we can see them headlining their own tour soon enough.
Headliners Chastity Belt are well known for their sometimes hilarious lyrics (see their songs “Giant Vagina” and “Pussy Weed Beer”) that often offer social commentary. Their new and third album, I Used to Spend So Much Time Alone, takes a slightly different approach lyrically by discussing heavier topics such as depression and trying to be OK with yourself. The instrumentation has gotten more complex but still sounds similar to the calm post-punk sounds of Time to Go Home (2015) and No Regrets (2013).
Live, Chastity Belt played a no nonsense set and seemed to feed off the energy of the enthusiastic crowd. All four members smiled a lot and joked with each other onstage. Although Julia Shapiro mostly served as lead vocalist, guitarist Lydia Lund and drummer Gretchen Grimm also sang lead on some numbers. Their light, pretty voices contrasted with Shapiro’s confrontational and sometimes aggressive vocals.
When their set ended, the crowd begged for an encore. The band huddled to discuss quickly then broke out into some old fan favorites including “Seattle Party” and “Cool Slut.”
Chastity Belt only has a few U.S. tour dates left–their last is August 26 in their hometown, Seattle, before they head to Europe for the Fall. If you’re looking for more Chastity Belt goodness, check out these artists portraits and this interview ListenSD did with the band last year.