Aberdeen at SF Popfest, 5/26/11

SF Popfest‘s modest yet powerful sense of community rang true during Thursday’s festivities, when Dominant Legs were joined by Aberdeen, the Motifs, and Sweater Girls at Cafe du Nord.

If you search the internet for information on Aberdeen, you’ll find that the band is a) described as “twee pop,” and b) described in the past tense. And yet, lead singer Beth Arzy stood in front of her audience at du Nord on Thursday, screaming “Don’t fucking call me twee!” as the band played a full set. Their own set of fans, perhaps having known Aberdeen since their 1993 debut and subsequent on/off again status, were present to celebrate this unique reunion. One broken homemade maraca and several pop songs later (played deftly, as expected with a veteran band, despite a few mishaps here and there), Aberdeen’s set was over, but not soon forgotten.

Before Aberdeen, Sweater Girls and the Motifs helped represent the true musical theme of the festival. The Motifs, while a bit subdued, brought short and sweet lo-fi pop with the occasional set of handclaps. Sweater Girls were pure and infectious, playing easygoing jangle pop in the form of breezy, one-two punch songs.

Dominant Legs closed out the evening, their growing notoriety in tow. Ryan Lynch’s agile guitar work buoyed a very enjoyable set of songs, while Hannah Hunt’s keyboard and vocal chops provided a warm and grounded edge. The entire band played seamlessly as the audience danced (dancing! very rare!), and we were brought back to the heart of SF Popfest: intelligent, eclectic, and irresistible indie pop.

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