Review: Brite Lite Brite at Virgin Mobile FreeFest
It can’t be easy being the opening band at the Virgin Mobile Freefest, even if you’ve gone through a rigorous selection process for the dubious honor.
This year’s opener, Brite Lite Brite, played in the main pavilion, which a festival staff member told me seats around 5,000 people. Even with a healthy cluster of people crowding the foot of the stage and small groups scattered in the seats, the venue was far too open and overwhelming for the electronica-pop band, whose sound, I suspect, would make far more sense in a small, sweaty dance club.
As it was, the Boston duo’s sound felt a bit diffused and unenergetic. Even the lead singer Andrea Stankevitch, a Kirsten Dunst look-a-like, looked bored throughout most of the set, while her partner Lukas Johnson went from mixing happy pop beats at first to darker, bass-driven dubstep in the second half of the show.
Almost everything about the band and their set smacked of the juvenile, from their name, to the mostly barely pubescent fans far too awkward to properly dance to the music, to the schoolgirlish desperation with which Stankevitch rasped the group’s most well-known song, “I Just Want U2 Myself.” Add in some unsophisticated lyrics on their other songs (“I like the boys and the boys like me – hey!”), and an ill-fitting cover of “Tainted Love,” and you get the picture.
Before I saw them play at the festival, I read that the duo had been called a “female-fronted Daft Punk.” That comparison had me excited, because I like Daft Punk and I like women singers even more, but I found it a mainly undeserved compliment. I feel more energized listening to Daft Punk on my tinny computer speakers than I did watching the entire live Brite Lite Brite set, which never really rose above the level of mildly inoffensive but utterly forgettable electronica, better suited for cleaning my house than getting pumped up.
- Yeganeh June Torbati
Photo: Brite Lite Brite Facebook