Warpaint The Imperial, Vancouver BC, September 20

Warpaint The Imperial, Vancouver BC, September 20
Photo: Christine McAvoy
Warpaint graced the stage of Vancouver's Imperial last night (September 20), getting the crowd dancing with intricate yet infectious rhythms and a whole lot of heart.
They brought two fellow Los Angeles bands with them to start off the night: Goldensuns and Facial. The former engaged the growing crowd with danceable, '80s-influenced indie rock/pop, while the latter played a brasher set, quite in contrast to the audience's expectations of Warpaint. Facial's punk ethos was evident as they tore into songs from their 2016 debut album, Mistress, the members constantly switching instruments.
From the first song of their set, Warpaint made it clear they'd be playing new songs from their upcoming album, Heads Up. "Whiteout" was dark yet full of grooves, Jenny Lee Lindberg's minimalistic bass standing out in its precision. "Bees," from 2010's The Fool, was simultaneously languid and direct, fans yelling along with the refrain, "all that time it took you to get your self straight."
The band's mix of dissonance and dance was incredible, captivating veterans and new fans alike. "Composure" kept the audience on their toes with its varying rhythms, deep bass and insistent beat. The new material went over well, "The Stall" and "Heads Up" both musically warm and inviting.
Drummer Stella Mozgawa shone with her versatile, expert playing. Whether engaging in a "shaker solo" as playfully encouraged by the band on "Biggy," or pounding through the climax of "No Way Out," she carried the group to new heights. The band balanced counteractive rhythms flawlessly, as on the multilayered "Keep It Healthy," displaying their cohesion as a unit.
Concluding the evening with a spirited rendition of "Krimson" from their debut EP, Exquisite Corpse, the band left fans invigorated and satisfied. Warpaint are one of the most refined and confident live bands, pushing the envelope and inviting dancing every step of the way.