Welcome to Albany, Kississippi

Welcome to Albany, Kississippi

Photos by Ariel Einbinder

Everything about Zoe Reynolds sparkled. From the pink, rainbow sprinkled guitar that reflected the stage lights in chromecast colors to the metallic sheen of her glittering eyeshadow and sheer condensation on the plastic cup of white wine she sipped between songs.

The mastermind behind Kississippi played her first show as a local artist on Aug. 4 at The Linda with Jouska, New Jersey hardcore band Save Face and Prince Daddy & The Hyena.

It was a casual solo set by the artist, with back up vocals by none other than Haley Butters of absinthe father (and @thisbandfucks Twitter fame). The pair covered her latest album Sunset Blush with comfortable authenticity. There is sense power in Kississippi’s sound, her voice dripping with honey while she serves up cutting lyrics, and Butters helped draw it out in a soft and intimate way. It felt like hanging out with close friends in a living room.

She shredded through the album’s hits like “Mirror Kisser” “Red Lights” and “Easier to Love,” stole the show with a stunning a cappella bit, and grinned coyly in the 2016 We Have No Future, We’re All Doomed EP’s “Indigo” as she crooned out, “I can’t move ‘cause he’s comfortable there/ his legs tangled in mine/ hands tangled in hair.”

Their performance was bookended by an opening set from Jouska and follow-up from Save Face, who recently released their 14-track album Merci.

Local punk rock heroes Prince Daddy & the Hyena closed the show with a killer set, featuring Daniel Gorham of Pictures of Vernon on drums. The commanding energy that takes over a room when this band plays is so consistently overwhelming. People absolutely lose their minds, fueling the group to push harder, to play louder. When one audience member was made to leave after trying to jump on stage, the band immediately advocated for their return.

“Can you bring them back please? We love that,” vocalist Kory Gregory argued. In his next breath,  the entire audience was invited onstage, to the chagrin of the venue security staff. They launched themselves up, clamoring over each as the band jumped back into the set. Every inch of the stage was populated by jumping, screaming fans in a moment of beautiful chaos before being rushed back to the floor. “OK, OK, bring it down” the security member motioned. They got the point.

Reynolds hopped back onstage for a song or two, performing the incredible duet from the band’s Now That’s What I Call Music Vol. 420 split, “Thrashville 2/3” with her vocal (and romantic) partner, Gregory. She sat on the floor, singing into the drum kit at first. As it built, she’d spun to face the audience, crawling on her knees to the edge of the stage, sharing the mic with a sea of screams.

Prince Daddy introduced their hometown fans to a slough of new songs and let them lead the way for old favorites from their 2015 and 2016 projects like “Adult Summers (Part 1 & 2)” and “Hundo Pos.” When they’d finally given it their all, Gregory expressed the band’s love and gratitude for the audience full of friends and family. “But see you at a house show next time,” he said, “because…you know.”

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