"They're so cute!" The members of Be Your Own Pet probably wouldn't care for that comment too much, but that's what all my friends and I say about the band when we see them. We're not just referring to their appearance, though they are certainly easy on the eyes and quite cool-looking. What we mean is the whole package - the members, the music, the way they work together as a band and probably the fact that they're so young (average age 16/17) and playing music we liked to listen to when we were their age.
I've been to a few of their shows in Nashville in different sized venues with different sized crowds. Each time the band looked bemused by all the attention they were getting, but each time they gave it their all and put on a great show. Last Thursday at Exit/In was no exception. As always, they did a great job with their short, tight, punky songs. If you just read their lyrics, you might expect a darker sort of vibe or presence, but their performance is more exuberant than angry. Jemina's screaming is more playful than sneering and when her microphone cord detached during the last song and she couldn't fix it, she threw in the towel and fell to the floor of the stage to writhe around with the mike stand. She was laughing the whole time. It's totally apparent how much all four of them love what they're doing. Their whole set was as driving and high-energy as always and the crowd went kind of crazy each time the band started one of the songs that's on their 3-song CD (XL Recordings).
Speaking of the crowd, they were excited but remarkably polite, with taller boys standing back and letting shorter people (like me!) go closer to the stage. Also, I've been noticing a phenomenon in the young crowd near the stage. I call it the Be Your Own Pet Dance. It's sort of a shimmy-shake-convulsing-hair-flipping-twice-one-side-then-twice-the-other-bop. It goes perfectly with Jemina's own shimmying and the driving fast drums.
I know that I've talked as much about the audience as the band, but that's because part of the fun is the whole zeitgeist of Be Your Own Pet - the write ups in NME, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, etc., The Spring Break performance tour of London, the show-stealing at music festivals, the packed shows, the youth, the energy, the stage presence, the members' camaraderie... the rock-n-roll. It's easy to get caught up in the hype, but the band makes it easy because they're good. And also, they're so cute.
Source: Lorelei Smith