Nothing could’ve prepared us for this show. We had a particularly bad start that night having faced some problems before arriving at Bootleg Theater just in time for Parenthetical Girls. They faced a pretty absurd amount of technical difficulties. At one point, frontman Zac Pennington had to soundcheck in the middle of the audience which was funny, but quite ridiculous at the same time. Once their set started, however, Zac was fully in character and performed supremely with his trademark moves that enthralled everyone in the room. He ended the set by declaring Bootleg Theater as the most defeating venue they’ve ever played in yet and for good reason. His voice was almost completely drowned out and they had consistent problems with the sound engineer (their set was even cut short by one song), so we can only imagine how frustrating it must have been performing under those circumstances. On the other hand, Mike Hadreas, also known as Perfume Genius, did not have to deal with the same problems since his set was much quieter with mostly just his voice and piano filling the room. He was supported by two other bandmates for back-up vocals, additional keys, and percussion (one of which was Alan, his boyfriend, who was his only touring mate for a while). The energetic crowd soon turned solemn and extra-attentive as Mike sang his songs quite tearfully and left very little room for small talk. His voice echoed such sincerity that it seriously sent chills down my spine. He abruptly left after his last song, but it didn’t matter. It was the perfect way to salvage a night that initially seemed impossible to save, all thanks to two very talented acts that graced the rather tiny Bootleg Theater. Note to the management: Please fix your sound system because it’s a shame having to compromise the quality of the performer’s sound and the overall experience of the audience.
See below: A video of Perfume Genius’ live performance of “Dark Parts” at Bootleg Theater