One couldn’t ask for a bill with more charismatic musicianship and eye candy, not only boasting London’s The Duke Spirit, but Alabama-bred and NY-based sister act The Pierces to boot.

The Pierces took on the crowd with a precocious dose of folk-rock fire, with a rollicking performance so captivating it was hard to look away, even between songs. Everyone in the room appreciated the talents demonstrated in their flirty set, made even more memorable by the fact that both Pierces wore girly, short black dresses, had cute stage banter, and used all manner of tambourines.

Though their voices are strong enough to have caught the ear of Nashville producers when they debuted back in 2000, The Pierces’ biggest talent lies in their ability to put on a compelling, diverse live show, and they held the crowd in the palm of their hands. The single “Boring,” which parodies a socialite’s life filled with luxuries and drug-strewn madness, was especially provocative, as was the sassy set closer, “Giddy Up,” which Catherine introduced by saying it was “about a boy.” As if we had to ask.

The Duke Spirit played with such soulful ferocity that their show tonight never dared dip below an eleven, flying off the charts and causing the floors to shake with audience excitement. The ever-lovely, smoky-voiced Leila Moss worked the stage wearing gold, her tambourine, percussive sticks and harmonica all sensual extensions of her dramatic self rather than mere props. It was refreshing to see a singer like this who still holds onto her sense of humor as well. Moss didn’t miss a beat when she spotted a “condom balloon” floating above the crowd, saying she’s glad to know we’re concerned with safe sex.

The band tore through the best of their new album, with songs such as “Dog Roses,” “My Sunken Treasure” and “This Ship Was Built to Last” as heavy standouts. The Duke Spirit ended the set in a culmination of warring guitars and punk chaos, saving older hits like “Cuts Across The Land” as one of the night’s perfect encores. –Madeline Virbasius-Walsh/photos by Tear-n Tan

  1. LOL!!! I’m glad Leila liked my “safe sex” condom balloons. Not only are they fun, but I do like to to promote safe sex (I’m a counselor for HIV-positive clients). To help promote safer-sex, I always carry tons of NYC condoms with me and I really enjoy blowing, tying, and launching my condom balloons at rockin’ concerts (as well as distributing the condoms to people “in need”, LOL!). I was glad to see this mentioned in the article!

    And the concert…. rocked!!!! A friend had recommended it highly, so I decided to go even though I’d never heard the Duke Spirit’s music before. Leila Moss is a fantastic singer and performer, and the band was great. My only gripe was that the Duke Spirit’s LPs were already sold out by the time I got to the merchandise table… what a bummer. Wasn’t it a CD release party? They should have more of the LPs in stock for that!