Live Review: Skating Polly @ DC9, 5/21/17

Intrepid mysterious Special Guest Star The Paper went in search of good live sounds, and the following is what transpired when he took in Skating Polly at DC9.

"Ooo it's loud." Kelli had just switched with Peyton and was tuning the guitar. "That's good."

Actually, it's not good. It's fantastic. I have a habit of leaving my earplugs slightly loose at the onset of sets to partake more fully in the sonic assault. I would push them in deeper later on to protect my hearing. I waited until the last song to push them in for Skating Polly.

I would be lying if I said I wouldn't regret going deaf over the Washington trio, but there's immense solace, even joy, in knowing that that's the last thing I will ever hear. By "that" I mean a kaleidoscope of all sounds, the holy grail of music I have been seeking my entire existence. As a lover of many genres, I often have to settle for a single flavor with any given band. With Skating Polly, I get to scoop mint choco chips, root beer, and cookie dough all at once!

One hand cradling the mic, Kelli cooed with a tenderness on "Perfume for Now" that beguiled the angsty shouts which followed moments later. Her arms were extended outwards and ended with her palms facing downwards. She looked and sounded ready to rocket into the sky like Supergirl. Peyton, in contrast, was too cool for school. While almost expressionless, her voice carried an authority and strength that could move planets. The amalgam of the two voices swinging wildly from saccharine to sharp left me breathless and virtually on my knees.

And we have yet to add the magic wands both wielded. The guitar twinkled with magnificence and twirled with purpose. The bass thumped at all the right times and throbbed at all the right places, plus some I didn't even know I had. The drums drove unrelentingly towards the inevitable bliss.

Putting everything together resulted in fireworks. The exhilarating manner in which Kelli high kicked the air in tandem with each crash of the cymbal imbued me with a satisfaction I will likely never experience again. Then there's that euphoric moment in "Hail Mary" when the beat paused and Peyton slid her pick along the string. Anyone struck by that note is sure to reach nirvana like I did.

Now as I sit here, still feeling residual pain in my ears, all I can think about is when I can do it all over again.

[words and photos of Skating Polly by The Paper]

[posted 5.27.17]


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