Following the release of their highly-anticipated debut album Try Not To Freak Out, Norwegian punk band Sløtface began the U.S. leg of their tour at The Echo in Los Angeles.

Seattle-based electro-rock duo Ever So Android opened the night with a mixture of programmer Drew Murray’s live guitar and backing-tracked beats layered over vocalist Hope Simpson’s dynamic and enthusiastic singing. With an ever-changing blend of various genres to create hypnotic bashers, drawing from soul, EDM, and punk backgrounds, the two artists left the audience entranced with their onstage interaction–both physically, in the entrancing dance moves about the stage, and musically, with a masterful melding of Simpson’s vocals and Murray’s instrumentals.

Grace McKagan, frontwoman for Seattle band The Pink Slips, (also the daughter of Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses fame) brought out alter ego GRAVE full-force during the second act of the evening. Drawing from acts like Ziggy Stardust and Alice Cooper, McKagan’s stage presence was a force to be reckoned with. The backing instrumentals also draw from rock icons of the past–influences from both modern pop music and elements in 70’s and 80’s New Wave and punk are apparent. The combination makes for an impressive synth-punk feel that’s a fit for everyone listening and watching. With an album planned for sometime this year, and a slot at some of the biggest festivals of the Summer, The Pink Slips are definitely going places.

Indie-punk quartet Sløtface, originating from Stavanger, a small city in Norway, brought their own grunge-laden playful kind of punk to Los Angeles in celebration of their most recent release, the critically-acclaimed Try Not To Freak Out. Having been on the touring circuit for the past few years yet, with catchy bangers off a few older EPs, the album comes highly-anticipated, and for very good reason. Wanting to create the “perfect soundtrack to an early 2000s high school rom-com” with the album, the band have melded their passion for social activism with a carefree atmosphere most recognizable in the spirit of young adults.

(Before their tour even set off, they started with a request for more all-female and female-fronted bands to join them in an attempt to support more of these in a boys’-club industry.)

The mixture of Nirvana and Pixies-esque guitar wailings by Tor-Arne Vikingstad, pop punk-channeled unpolished vocals by frontwoman Haley Shea, and just a smidge of emo and party vibes results in a well-curated and diverse setlist. In a great alteration between older and slower single “Bright Lights” to the faster, kind-of title track “Try,” bassist Lasse Lokøy invited the crowd to join him in the mosh pit, which hardly let up until their closing song. The relatable anthem about keeping it together and not freaking out, with drummer Halvard Skeie Wiencke banging away in masterful drumlines, is a clear indication of the human element behind the band, and why so many gravitate towards their worldly lyrics.

Photos and Review by: Francesca Tirpak