Perfume Genius | Logan Square Auditorium | October 3, 2012
Photo: Zach Long
A broken windshield and a $200 speeding ticket on the way into town didn't stop Brian Borcherdt from taking the stage at the Logan Square Auditorium on Wednesday night. "Mom's gonna kill me," he joked midway through a set culled from his recent release under the name Dusted, accompanied by drummer Leon Taheny. Best known for his work with Toronto electronica band Holy Fuck, Borcherdt's latest project finds him trading his keyboards for a guitar and belting out mournful rock songs. Tracks like "Property Line" featured booming rhythms and heavily distorted chords, combining with Borcherdt's reedy vocals to create a sound not unlike a two-man Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
Opening to the reserved piano melodies of "AWOL Marine," Perfume Genius quickly set a subdued tone for the remainder of the evening. Mike Hadreas' thin, airy voice floated pleasantly over his delicate piano balladry, augmented with touches of synth and minimalistic percussion. Songs from his critically acclaimed record Put Your Back N 2 It filled the spacious venue, as lyrics about love and loss reverberated through the crowd. The gorgeous chamber-pop strains of tracks like "17" and "Floating Spit" bled into one another as the group flitted from one succinct composition to the next. Not even the bouncing tempo of "Hood" could hide the bittersweet sentiment that formed the piece's emotional core. "I never felt so good about myself," Hadreas sang as he covered an excerpt of Madonna's "Oh Father" during the show's encore; one of the few convincing glimmers of hope amid the heavy sadness that permeated his performance.