photos by Ryan Johnson
review by Lizzie Savage
On Saturday, May 7, Bad Bad Hats played their first show at THE GARAGE, with support from fellow “power trios” Bruise Violet and Strange Relations. The show drew in a diverse crowd, and was a perfect picture of the sense of community surrounding local musicians and listeners.
The show was kicked off by Bruise Violet, a teenage punk outfit who are self-described as “sugar, spice, and a kick in the teeth.” Their innocent appearance and angry performance elicited mixed reactions from the crowd, but overall they were a hit, and got people excited for what was to come. Following Bruise Violet were Strange Relations, whose introspective “diary-pop” bridged the gap between Bruise Violet’s careful chaos and Bad Bad Hats’ sunny disposition.
Bad Bad Hats set was lighthearted and fun, highlighted by Kerry’s effortless and endearing sense of humor, which shined through in her between-song narratives, including a synopsis of the movie A Walk to Remember before playing an unreleased number called “The One Rule.” She was met with laughs and cheers as she explained the premise behind “Super America”; “Sometimes you just need to sit on the couch, in a comfortable pant, with nothing but a snack and your sorrows.”
Her realness was reflected by the other acts as well, contributing to an overall feeling of home and shared experiences. So often it seems that bands overact onstage, and while often it works in their favor, for Bad Bad Hats the opposite worked just as well. Feeding off of each other’s energy, they radiated good chemistry and good vibes. Their set was an hour, but didn’t feel long enough and I found myself wishing they would stay and play their entire discography. They closed out with “It Hurts,” off their EP of the same title. They walked offstage to appreciative cheers, smiles, and enthusiastic chants of “one more song!”
After a brief pause, Kerry came back to play a final song, “Things We Never Say,” by herself. “This one is a softer number, quite like our selection of t-shirts at the back table,” she said before dedicating the song to her boyfriend, and finishing the show on a quiet but sweet note.
The bands all stayed around after their performances, selling their own merch, talking, and taking pictures with everyone until the last group of people had left. The show was fairly low key, but nonetheless memorable, and was a nice reminder of how important it is to support your local music scene. Although no summer tour plans have been confirmed, there is “always something in the works,” so we can hope for more all-ages shows from Bad Bad Hats in the near future.