As the lights dimmed and shadowed figures took the stage, there was an immense buzz in the air, everyone eager to delve into the music. When Kristin Kontrol’s synth-pop beats started to echo throughout the theater at The Fillmore on Saturday, July 16 as she opened for cult-favorite alternative rock band Garbage, the audience was immediately hooked.
Kristin Kontrol (whose birth name is Kristin Welchez), formerly known as Dee Dee in the indie rock band the Dum Dum Girls, has taken on her new persona with full force. After leaving the Dum Dum Girls in late January to follow a new musical path, she was eager to pursue it with her own fresh style. She did just that. Kristin Kontrol’s debut album, X-Communicate, was released on May 27 on the Seattle-based Sub Pop record label.
Kristin Kontrol’s new sound is an 80s-influenced dream, combining elements of shoegaze and synth-pop with modern indie ideals. Her lyrics are both poetic and relatable, and her stage presence is palpable as she moves infectiously with the beat. The audience can’t help but bounce along.
At The Fillmore, Kristin Kontrol opened with “Baby Are You In” and performed fluidly and vividly for the rest of her set. A gifted artist, she sang every note with her hovering, almost spooky vibrato as she engaged wholeheartedly with her songs. By the time she got to the album’s namesake, “X-Communicate”, it was clear the audience didn’t mind waiting for the main band with such a catchy and talented opener.
While her set only lasted about 30 minutes, she and her band made the most of every second. They fed the music-loving audience with their powerfully infectious rhythms, lyrics, and synths. All in all, her set wasn’t one to be easily forgotten. While most of the audience may have come for Garbage, many left with another favorite artist added to their list: Kristin Kontrol.
Check out Marisa’s interview with Kristin Kontrol here!
Marisa Miller is double majoring in music and journalism. She is the creator and host of Misschief Tunes on WAYN Radio. Follow her @moxierizzo and @misschieftunes.