Concert Review: Sunfest 2009, Part II — The Pretty Faces

The Pretty Faces at Sunfest: (l-r) Phil Dunne (bass), Tom Thorslund (drums/vocal), Jeph Thorslund (guitar/vocals), Hannah Thorslund (guitar/vocals)
The Pretty Faces at Sunfest: (l-r) Phil Dunne (bass), Tom Thorslund (drums/vocal), Jeph Thorslund (guitar/vocals), Hannah Thorslund (guitar/vocals)

[Typist Notes: Here’s where we jump ahead to the final day of Sunfest in order to showcase some local artists with significant gigs this weekend. First up in the out-of-order sequence, The Pretty Faces from Boca Raton;  they open for Boston band Pretty & Nice at Propaganda in Lake Worth, Friday May 8th at 9:00]

Day 5, Sun. May 3rd — The Pretty Faces: The New Wave garage-rockers were the first to perform on this stage that day, which apparently led to their enduring a longer-than-normal set-up/sound-check period, since, despite the advertised 12:30 start time, their set didn’t kick off till 1:00. But whatever nerves band members might have exhibited while hurriedly setting up had evaporated by time frontman Jeph Thorslund stepped forward to the mike to intro the performance.  The band immediately launched into tracks from its latest release, Another Sound, including the Costello-esque “Inch By Inch” and  “Rib”.  The lengthy sound-check period turns out to have worked in the band’s favour, since in at least one instance the live sound actually bettered the recording.  Whereas the kick-drum intro for “Right On The Money” was somewhat low-key on the CD, here it was rendered as a thick, meaty thump.
The band also played tracks from its previous release, 2004’s Lipstick Kiss: “Don’t Let Me Down” and what is fast becoming my favourite of the older songs, “English Rose”.  Midway through its set, the group played its only cover, “Jessie’s Girl”, Rick Springfield’s best-known hit. This succeeded in drawing in a few more 0f the early-afternoon festival-goers to hear their performance.  The band then reverted to their own material by hammering through the explosive “Sweet Sixteen”.
Before proceeding to perform her composition “Elephant”,  Hannah Thoslund gave the Type Writer a pleasant suprise by dedicating the song to him.  (The Type Writer assumes that his singling out  this song during his CD Review might have had something to do with this.) At the moment, Hannah appears to be more confident about her guitar playing than her lead vocals, as a trace of nerves came through on her vocal here, but these will probably disappear over time if the number of requests shouted for this song at the group’s CD release party are any indication.
Overall,  the occasion of  The Pretty Faces’ large-stage debut did nothing to unnerve the band, as its performance was as tight as ever. The only pity was that the crowd who witnessed it was not larger, but something tells me that won’t be the case the next time the band plays this festival.

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