U.S. Girls The Durham Social, Sudbury ON, August 13

U.S. Girls The Durham Social, Sudbury ON, August 13
Photo: Eric Noble-Marks
Megan Remy's late night set as U.S. Girls at Up Here fest was as much a politically charged performance piece as a rock show, with one foot in the visual and conceptual as well as the auditory.
With her musical responsibilities limited to vocals, a loop pedal and an old-school tape deck, Remy was free to shape-shift, changing costume and form numerous times to expose and subvert female gender roles. During her hour-long set, she was a southern belle, a flapper dandy, a nun and none of the above, reacting to and rejecting any strict and oppressive means of categorization.

Remy's sound put old-school country, R&B, pop and blues in the microwave, shrouding it in a wash of tape fuzz and general mugginess. Then there's that voice, a tone that has all the sweetness of '60s girl groups but with a bite that can make your hair stand on end. Studio tricks be damned, it was just as potent tonight (August 13).

If there was something left to be desired about Remy's show, it was that it didn't feel fully fleshed out. Clocking in at under an hour, it seemed to end just as it was building up steam, with Remy wordlessly walking out through the crowd. Also concerning was the lack of representation from Remy's latest LP, the stunning Half Free. Though her older fare played well with the crowd, and we did get a heartbreaking rendition of "Sororal Feelings," leaving out monster tracks like "Damn That Valley" and "Window Shades" made the performance feel a tad incomplete.
Nevertheless, there was a lot to like about U.S. Girls' performance, and even more to look forward to the next time she swings through town.