As I passed Kate Ferencz in the bathroom of the First Unitarian Church, my initial thought was, “Wow. These hipsters have really kicked it up a notch.” Smeared in dirt (or makeup or something), tatters of shirt dangled. Yet, somehow neatly tucked into early 20th century boy’s shorts. This was the next level, clearly.
It was only a few moments later, when I saw her in context to the theatrical setting of the stage that I gathered she was the focal point of the experience I, and a few hundred other people, were about to have. Against the hand painted, dark and sinister backdrop mural of a woodland nightmare, a witch grabbed a bass, a keyboardist with a crown of thorns took her place, and a bearded minstrel donned a bass drum. They were officially ready to start this folklore, proletariat, steampunk adventure train once the final member put on a costume of a log made of cardboard.
Kate reminded me of a Karen O on cocaine or my eight year old neighbor who tears through her back door, her yard, my yard and into my house without warning, screaming all the while. I simultaneously adore her and fear her. She and her band, together known as Evil Sword, wove tales of monsters and fairies, mischief and consequence. New characters emerged throughout the performance. There was gong banging and a beheading of elementary school theatrical proportions.
The quick cadence of the songs reminded me of a bare bones Modest Mouse. The music came together roughly and without regard to the pretense of fluidity. The feeling was, panic, but it all fit nicely together in the context of their imagined world.
This description found on their band camp page sums the experience up nicely:
“The forgotten mystery of the past. A dim cloud lit from behind by the moonlight, the whispering in the distance. Who is the king? The king is dead! That is why the drums beat so. Where are we? There is no way of knowing but let us tie a ribbon to this tree. Alternately lumbering stiffly or dancing in a trance. A beast gnawing on a bloody stump!”
At an Evil Sword show you end up with more questions than answers by the end, but it’s a fun romp down the rabbit hole and I promise you’ll emerge unscathed.