It was a scene straight out of 1976: Justin Tranter, the front-man of the daring glam-group Semi Precious Weapons, pouring champagne (from a bottle emblazoned with his own picture I might add) over the entire crowd at The Roxy in LA, as girls bared their chests in excitement and chanted “IT’S OKAY, IT’S OKAY,” in unison. Needless to say, every Semi Precious Weapons show becomes its own experience. Returning to the west coast for the first time since their stint opening for Lady Gaga, last night’s gig served as a sending off of the Weapons to Europe, where they’ll continue touring with the one-woman pop megashow until this summer. Upon seeing them headline their own gig however, it became difficult to conceive how they don’t upstage the Lady herself.
Taking the stage shortly after ten, SPW dove right in to the action. Dressed in an oversized shirt, six-inch sequined ankle boots, and skin-tone tights, Justin Tranter towered over the stage and was truly a sight to behold. Bassist Cole Whittle was literally wearing rags over his person and ran about the stage in a frenzy, occasionally colliding with Stevy Pyne on guitar and stopping every once in a while to hiss at Tranter. Their presence couldn’t be contained to just the stage, and in between costume changes Tranter and Whittle fondled their way into the roused crowd, forcing everyone to dance. The set was generous, and ran through their well-known tracks, “Her Hair Is on Fire,” “Put a Diamond In It,” and “Magnetic Baby,” as well some new material off of their upcoming album, a copy of which Tranter made sure to throw aimlessly into the
It’s difficult not to love the Precious Weapons, honestly. Even those in the crowd who were, shall we say-standoffish, couldn’t help themselves. Tranter and his crew have created music that’s a glimpse of extravagant glam rock in its heyday but with an attitude that’s crass and accessible. In their gritty New York world, it’s okay to be broke and to party harder than anyone, so long as you look good and have a damn good time in the process. And while it may be easy to scoff at lyrics that ask the listener “who wants my baby?” and to bite down on diamonds, they put their money where their mouths are and present a live show that backs up the decadent chaos of their music one hundred percent.