Uh Huh Her
with Diamonds Under Fire
The Social, Orlando, FL • May 15, 2011
With a second album in the chute and three years’ worth of touring, writing, and recording under their wings, Uh Huh Her is now a band worthy of the blind support their flock of fans have bestowed upon them since day one.
“Oh my God! I’m so excited!” I heard one girl exclaim, just before asking her friend, “What do they sound like?”
Even though Showtime’s The L Word aired its final episode two years ago, the presence of former cast member Leisha Hailey in this electropop band is still the deciding factor for most fans at The Social this evening. It’s also the reason that the crowd is positively teeming with young lesbians — a comical source of confusion for those not familiar with the bands’ cult status in the Lesbian world!
Diamonds Under Fire, a girl/boy duo from Los Angeles led by the adorable but slightly off-key Vanessa Silberman, opened the night. I’m usually a sucker for two-member bands — the simplicity of guitar, drums, and vocals, when done right, is intoxicating — but this pair rocked about as hard as a small stage Lillith Fair band. Silberman seemed to be shooting for early Alanis Morissette but instead landed upon modern day Christina Perri. The crowd lapped it up, however, pouring on the love and prompting the sweet little singer/guitarist to shower the love right back.
“This is our first time playing Florida, and you guys are such a good-looking crowd!”
Telling an audience full of women that they’re beautiful is not a bad way to win some new fans, but my ears were playing hard to get and, sorry Diamonds Under Fire, but I like you — just not in that way.
Arriving onstage to a deluge of adoration and staring into the eyes of dozens of upraised iPhones, the ladies of Uh Huh Her set up on either end of the stage, each behind a keyboard, alongside the boys in their band (on drums and lead guitar). A trepidatious start, with both Hailey and co-frontwoman Camila Grey hiding behind their microphones and working through sound level problems, made the first half of the night’s performance feel a little stunted, but once the pair loosened up the fire began to blaze.
The new songs, off of both their teaser EP Black and Blue and their upcoming album Nocturnes, burned brighter than even the choicest tracks off of their debut. “Never the Same” has got the potential to be a pop hit that begs to be played at prom, and “Philosophy” has got a funkier beat that sends Hailey flailing about the stage while she plays her bass. In an odd twist of the concert experience, the nameless mysteries that fell in-between the songs already known were the highlights of the set.
The L.A. group’s debut, Common Reaction, was an album made before the band had really solidified, whereas these new cuts come from a place of shared experience and collaboration of a life lived on the road. They also hint at a light at the end of the tunnel as Uh Huh Her strives to pull out of the shadow of Hailey’s notoriety to develop a following unrelated to her Hollywood past.
Between songs and instrument swaps (Hailey and Grey switch off on bass, and Hailey also plays guitar for much of the set), the darling pair chatted with the crowd about the wonders of Florida (the Kennedy Space Center being at the top of Grey’s list), and tried to find homes for their newly adopted hermit crabs that they have to be rid of before boarding a plane.
So if you hear stories about how a few Orlando fans got crabs from Uh Huh Her, you’ll know the truth of the matter. It was one wild night!
Uh Huh Her: www.uhhuhher.com