Mystery Skulls and French Horn Rebellion at the Music Hall of Williamsburg

The Music Hall of Williamsburg saw a double-headlining show on Thursday night courtesy of Mystery Skulls and French Horn Rebellion, with Deidre & The Dark serving as the opener. The last was a quartet complete with two female vocalists decked out in paisley who performed their synchronized dance moves with the ultimate focus. Self-described as “noir pop”, their sound is moody without being somber, and it definitely has a sense of humor about itself. At one point the rest of the band stepped back and front woman Deidre Muro performed what was essentially a solo song about killing a woman her husband was in love with, which drew lots of laughs and cheering from the audience. Other songs like “Classic Girl” and “Boss Lady” drew attention to the group’s more uplifting side and their cohesive technical skill as well.

Mystery Skulls seemed to be the highlight of the night. Luis Dubuc played DJ to a packed floor, and they absolutely loved it. He sampled the likes of Theophilus London and Jamie xx while also playing originals like “Magic” and “Ghost”, which surprisingly enough sounded much better live. Dubuc has a pretty incredible voice and he knows how to rock an audience. His set was an hour-long nonstop dance party complete with flashing rainbow lights, and there wasn’t a soul to be found who didn’t look like they were having the time of their lives. Because of this, it’s curious as to why he wasn’t saved for the last act of the night. As soon as he left the stage, more than half of the floor cleared out completely.

This meant, of course, that French Horn Rebellion played to a very sparsely populated room. Those who left early had the right idea, however, because their performance was excruciating to watch. From the get-go their songs were over-the-top and insincere, only made worse by the Perlick-Molinari brothers’ painful attempt at starting a dance battle in the middle of the floor. It was clear that they were trying, really trying, but asking the crowd if they were “feeling French horn-y” is where any reasonable person should draw the line. They played well past midnight and with every minute that ticked by, faces in the crowd became even more bored and restless. The two brothers descended into the audience more than once, but few people could be bothered to rush over to them – that’s how little of a pull they had. “Boring” is a harsh word but unfortunately it’s accurate. There isn’t enough synth in the world to save a band like that. Thankfully, the first two acts were good enough to overshadow the shortcomings of the last.

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