Melissa Dyne seems to be an important source of inspiration for Khaela Maricich as they interact entirely from the voice of Khaela. Set upon the Winningstad Stage with minimal design: a triangular formation with rainbow colors coalescing and a single lamp capping a center speaker, broadcasting her voice more clearly than the stereo pair of mains. It has almost a religious aspect. But of course, the rock and roll lights were deployed as well.
The history of the band goes back more than ten years. A few years ago, Yacht became the iconic group to expand from The Blow, yet the latter is something of a legacy name with a small but valuable catalogue.
The songs that were performed solo by Khaela with lighting, sound, and stage effects from Melissa Dyne were touching, danceable and fun, like the new song Make It Up.
Khaela is a fascinating person. She is full of contradiction. She is child-like but wise. She is exuberant yet subdued. She is sobered and bizarre. She is beautiful and repelling—sexy without provocation. She is humorous yet utterly serious. She is graceful yet fidgety. She causes discomfort yet wins favor.
If it were not for this inherent charisma then maybe—nay definitely—her performance would have fallen flat. In fact, very few people could have pulled it off. But is that to be celebrated?
They were apparently winging it with a handful of target points. She was kind of going on about her point of view. It was funny but largely because she was always on the edge of being an unrehearsed comic forgetting her jokes. That’s what it reminded me of: my worst nights doing open mic comedy when I could not hold my own act together, so I resorted to random chatter about myself as the comedian.
Toward the end, she played more songs and offered less chatter. That was important. She also had some wild movement going. She jumped in to the audience and stepped across the armrests, just to give Melissa a kiss. She sang a full song with her back turned, circling her torso in a head banging style akin to the bassist from Metallica around 1992. She showed us the stance that is her wellspring of creativity: an Elvis-like posture combined with rapid butt wiggling.
For someone that had never seen a straight music performance of The Blow—for I had only in the last few years grown a good taste for electronic music—I know that I could have a good time with it. Maybe I’m more of a traditionalist, but I just want a bit more coherence in the performance before considering it a strong festival showcase.