Halfway through The Grates' set at Spaceland tonight, Giselle shouted out, "MY CHEEKS HURT!"
Presumably, from smiling for a solid twenty minutes straight.
I totally empathized.
On the way home tonight, I tried really, really hard to think of when I've seen such a happy band.
Nope, can't think of such a thing. The Grates are definitely The Happiest.
Drummer Alana sits unassumingly at her kit, permagrin slapped from cheek to pudgy cheek, playing all herky jerky like a kid simultaneously overstimulated and trying to rein in their sugar high.
And singer Patience? White socks cranked around her knees, she bounds around the stage, Siouxsie after shooting up rainbows and lollipops with a sprinkling of meth backstage. She's transfixing, hopping and pointing and smiling and bouncing and Roger Rabbit-dancing and twirling onstage, getting off on the most genuine of connections with her audience. She peeeenches our heads with her forefinger and thumb, dedicates songs to us, comes out and dances with us, places her hand on our shoulders familiarly as she encourages us to join her in chorus. Simply put, she is Happy personified, and I love it.
The icing on the ridiculously sweaty, joyful evening? Unfurling a $20 bill, asking for a T-shirt and a CD, and having Patience lean in conspiratorially to tell me, "Shhhh...you're getting an extra T-shirt in there. It's like there's a menu and you just ordered off of it. You ordered off the menu and you get an extra T-shirt," then patting me on the shoulder, thanking me, and pumping her fist in the air. Awesome.
Watch - "Aw Yeah" by The Grates: