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CSS at Fine Line Music Cafe, 6/25/13

CSS at Fine Line Music Cafe, 6/25/13
Photo by Erik Hess

CSS with IO Echo
Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis
Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Let's rule this place with lots of love and respect and hair!" Lovefoxxx exclaimed Tuesday night as she was brushing her Morticia Adams-like wig out of her face. She sure did rule the place. The lead singer of the Brazilian band CSS was captivating as she danced around onstage singing songs mostly about love -- something that is not always a deep topic, but CSS is not really about deep. They're about fun; the example being their name Cansei de Ser Sexy, meaning "tired of being sexy."

With the fog machine on, the lone male drummer and four girls made their way onstage. While everyone was dressed like the typical rock star in jeans and T-shirts, Lovefoxxx worked a white button-down shirt and polka-dot skirt, and was ready to strip down as the night progressed. While certainly sexy in a quirky way, she was also funny. As soon as she belted out the angry "Art Bitch," she said, "Yeah, Minneapolis is in the house. We're CSS from...the internet. Everyone's in there. (under her breath) Shit it's so hot." It truly was steamy in the Fine Line, made even steamier by the dancing bodies, but it's difficult to stand still at a CSS show.

CSS at Fine Line Music Cafe, 6/25/13
CSS at Fine Line Music Cafe, 6/25/13
Photos by Erik Hess

Armed with the just-released new album Planta, the band had a full set of songs to pull from for their North American tour -- songs that brought out the punk side of the band. The deliveries of pieces such as "Hangover" and "Teenage Tiger Cat" can be paralleled to the no-nonsense Ramones, with some added joy. "Teenage Tiger Cat" even had a death metal bridge thrown in.

Lovefoxxx has a flair for dramatic, most especially with her stage outfits and props. She arrived dressed a bit dowdy, but eventually stripped down to a net-like "dress" and fishnet stockings -- she was could have been wearing just her underwear and bra. Fortunately, no yelled at her to "take it off." Probably because she's so easy going. Even her props had flair, including her fans with flowing fabric and her black cape with gold lining. She was like a female drag queen.
 
"City Grrrl" brought out more of the fog machine and the confessions of a young girl wanting to dye her hair pink, donning black lipstick, and moving to New York City, while "Red Alert" changed it up with its bright guitars and rap verses. By the time they got to their signature "Music is My Hot Hot Sex," the venue was a steamy place, the perfect setting for the song and perfect for dancing. Lovefoxxx encouraged every to smile throughout the whole song, at the end saying in her Brazilian accented English, "The smiling was great. I never asked for that before. I'm gonna ask for that for the rest of the tour of America."

CSS at Fine Line Music Cafe, 6/25/13
CSS at Fine Line Music Cafe, 6/25/13
CSS at Fine Line Music Cafe, 6/25/13
Photos by Erik Hess

The band slowed it way down for their encore, opening with the dreamy "Frankie Goes to North Hollywood" before launching into the catchy pop hook-laden "Alala," which had Lovefoxxx rapping in Portuguese. Leading into their last song, Lovefoxxx gave a shout out to local DJ Shannon Blowtorch who was in the crowd that night, a friend of theirs that they know from the many times they have played in Minneapolis. It seems like everything was leading up in the night was leading up to "I've Seen You Drunk Gurl." The song had everyone on their feet as the band members almost became a rap group dancing around onstage with their mics and trading vocals, ending with a primal scream about a "drunk gurl" not being drunk enough.
Perhaps this was the band's way of telling the crowd to have another drink.

Critic's bias: The first time I saw CSS was at First Ave., but the smaller stage seemed to suit the band better. Maybe because Lovefoxxx could maintain eye contact with the crowd better.

The crowd: A steaming, dancing group.

Overheard in the crowd: "See, CSS is so fun, they can even get white boys to dance."

Random notebook dump: I thought I heard Lovefoxxx say that they ate at the Brazilian barbeque Fogo de Chao before the show. I was most likely wrong.

Random notebook dump 2: I saw IO Echo open for Garbage a couple of months ago. They were awful then, but have improved on second viewing. Although, a note to them would be to lose the low lighting where you can't see any of the band at all.

Setlist

Art Bitch
Move
Hangover
Hits Me Like a Rock
Teenage Tiger Cat
Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above
Girlfriend
City Grrrl
Honey
Red Alert
Into the Sun
I Love You
Music is My Hot Hot Sex
Dynamite

Encore
Frankie Goes to North Hollywood
Alala
I've Seen You Drunk Gurl


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