And The Kids at Jittery’s: Local Band Gives Electrifying Performance

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Brown '16 | And The Kids performed at Smith with a powerful energy that enthralled the audience. Lead singer Hannah Mohan (pictured above) sang the band’s powerful lyrics.

Photo courtesy of Carolyn Brown ’16 | And The Kids performed at Smith with a powerful energy that enthralled the audience. Lead singer Hannah Mohan (pictured above) sang the band’s powerful lyrics.

 

Eliza Going ’18
Staff Writer

And The Kids gave a magnetic performance in Davis Ballroom on Feb. 4. A sea of pierced and dyed Smithies was mesmerized by the trio – Hannah Mohan, lead singer and guitarist; Rebecca Lasaponaro, drummer; and Taliana Katz, bassist.

Grainne Buchanan ’17 warmly opened the show with a few original songs on acoustic guitar, followed by jazzy Bess Hepner ’16. The two of them met And The Kids at June Millington’s Rock and Roll Camp for Girls years ago, where they collaborated on songs, and the musicians stayed friends thereafter.

Following Buchanan and Hepner’s performances, all five musicians mounted the stage for a “throwback” they had written at camp. “How you look that way / You’re bringing me up like you do every day / Maybe it’s cause you smell so sweet, back and forth through these brightening trees,” they sang.

Soon after, And The Kids began their set. Mohan wore a tunic top made from what seemed to be sweatshirt material, with large circular cutouts on the sides and a silver circular patch on the front over black-and-white splatter-painted leggings. On her back were the words “the abyss will gaze back into you” in angry, jagged highlighter pink. All three band members had an artful line of blue glitter painted on their faces.

With their appearance, and certainly through their music, the band explores the frustration of childhood and teenhood through an adult lens. The words come from a mature, almost wistful, perspective in the song “No Countries” with, “We want no countries / We want no boundaries / We want no fighting / We want no bombing,” echoing a child’s tantrum in verbal pattern but surrounding adults’ complaints.

In some ways, there’s a disparity between their music and their words. The lyrics tend to be short, repetitive and honest, while the music is complex and surprising – but what makes their music unpredictable makes it real.

“I think it’s really cool how their song structures and melodies are really intricate and interesting, but then they combine them with these lyrics that are really honest … and really strike something in your gut that evokes really strong emotion,” Nina Donaghue ’18, a music major, said. “They make their songs interesting without losing those core emotions.”

Within a range of tempos, octaves and emotions, each song was powerful. They maintained the crowd’s attention from the very start. Mohan sings with an urgency that makes it hard not to listen. Some time into the show, I saw two people dancing together to stop and break apart to appreciate the chorus to “All Day All Night.”

After the show, I had the pleasure of speaking with Katz and Lasaponaro about their experience in the band. The band has some solid influences including Rubblebucket, Pale Hound, and St. Vincent, though each of the members has a different personal music taste.

In the face of “male-fronted” and “female-fronted” terminology surrounding bands and show bookings, Katz and Lasaponaro agreed that it’s “hard.” To announce bands as male- or female-fronted, while an equalizer, isn’t always relevant or accurate. The female gender is “not important to any of our identities,” said Katz.

Lasaponaro added that although it’s ridiculous to keep asking women performers about their experiences as women and constantly highlight their female presence in any performance industry, “you want young women who don’t know that it’s an option to play music that they can.”

The show was, all in all, a smashing success. Over the next few months while And The Kids go on tour, Smith will anxiously await their return.

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