Ex Hex played a sold-out show Thursday night (4/4) at the Bowery Ballroom on the Lower East Side of NYC, mixing in songs from their first two albums, Rips and their recently released It’s Real. Strolling out to “Be Bop A Lula” the four-piece was in rock star mode in front of their gold lamé backing and neon Ex Hex sign evoking an 80’s dive bar in Miami; they certainly looked and played the part.
The four-piece ran through their two albums worth of songs, starting with “Tough Enough” as Mary Timony and Betsy Harris walked while strumming into the middle of the stage to duel on their respective six strings (a reoccurring event) soloing in front of drummer Laura Harris and live bassist David Christian who diligently kept the beat. “You Fell Apart” raised the energy level but the hip-shaking in the young crowd stayed muted as fans seemed more into watching than dancing. The group stays locked in with album tight rendering of their tunes, rarely deviating from the recorded versions.
Harris took over lead vocals for “Radiate”, a highlight on the night as the group invoked their first sing along with “Oh Oh Yeah”, before “Don’t Wanna Lose” showcased Harris heavy kick drum and tom playing. The strutting “Rainbow Shiner” was introduced by saying a new video was out for the glam rock inspired tune while “Waterfall” felt a touch timid.
“Another Dimension” saw Harris rocking a badass Gibson Flying V before “Cosmic Cave”, the bands best new tune, flowed into “Everywhere” ending the set. The encore of Rips gems “Radio On” and “Hot Cold” proved the band can deliver catchy as hell tunes, and while their performance was professional rock and roll perhaps by adding more curveballs, covers or deviations from the album versions, Ex Hex (scary to think) could still burn hotter and play even louder if they want.