Usually in the beginning of the year, the winter doldrums set in causing a dearth of solid shows. But a week into the new year, Olympia, Washington opening act, Two Ton Boa, gave a worthy performance. Two Ton Boa is primarily Sherry Fraser and her backup band. Opening for superstars the Dresden Dolls isn't an easy feat, but she's an impenetrable frontwoman who carried the show.
Download: Two Ton Boa - "Comin' Up from Behind"
The audience, decked out in their goth best and corsets, were at the sold out show to see punk cabaret duo the Dresden Dolls, but Fraser's heavy grunge music complimented the headliner. In 2000, they released a self-titled EP and then in 2006 released their first full-length, Parasiticide. The show drew from both records equally. The first song they play is "Bad Seed." Fraser's baleful vocals are akin to Rid of Me era PJ Harvey and even Karen O. Her lyrics are just as sexually aggressive and moody. The swirling guitars and drums enhance Fraser's delivery. The song "Two Ton Boa" drips with her enunciated intonation and lyrics: "I want to love you like a two ton diamond boa." Since her vocals constrict and squeeze, it's a good name for the band. On "Porcelain Throne," she sings, "I watch you suffer" accompanied by big, loud sounds. Not all of their songs are dark--some are quite melodic such as he penultimate song, "Comin' Up from Behind" featuring tinkering piano and spunky beats in vein of the headliner. The set ends on "Bleeding Heart fueled by spacious soundscapes and gnarling vocals.
Fraser and group set the precedent in warming the audience up enough to get everyone in the mood for the rest of the evening and that's what a great opener should do.
Two Ton Boa setlist:
Two Ton Boa
Comin' Up From Behind