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SWEET PILL, PINKSHIFT, AND ORIGAMI ANGEL SHRED AT (LE) POISSON ROUGE

Cecil Yang (and 1 other)Apr 25, 2023

Sweet Pill, Pinkshift, and Origami Angel made a big return to New York City on Saturday night, playing a long-awaited sold-out show to an enthralled audience.

Sweet Pill came on first, and their infectious energy kicked off the show to a roaring start. Sweet Pill is one of those bands who are amazing in the studio, but their songs take on an entirely new life and form on stage. Their popular track, “Blood,” had everyone screaming along in a group catharsis session that was dearly needed. “Blood” is a beating heart of a song that steadily bursts into a scream of defiance, declaring the singer does not care about “anything that comes from you!” Frontwoman Zayna Youssef invited the audience to “bark along” to “Dog Song,” which everyone happily did. While the set was only thirty minutes, the time they spent on stage was well-spent, an electric performance that captured the audience. Zayna held the audience in the palm of her hand and didn’t let go, bringing them on a journey of beautifully crushing heartbreak that led right into the next set, which was Pinkshift.

This was my fourth time seeing Pinkshift, and they never disappoint. Their second show in NYC in 2023, Pinkshift always shreds and this time was no different. Playing to an audience that was largely familiar with their work, they were able to tease songs everyone was hyped for, racking up the energy as people prepared to lose their entire goddamn minds. Pinkshift is a band you must see live. In 2020, I discovered their music in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and seeing Pinkshift live seemed like a pipe dream. Now that I have, multiple times, every time I see them the next thought on my mind is when can I see them again? Ashrita Kumar enraptured the audience while Paul Vallejo played the guitar like his life depended on it. Myron Houngbedji brought all the chaos together with a drum beat that solidified the entire act into a rip-roaring beast of a punk band you’ll never forget. Ash took on a guitar to play their newest track, “to me,” a softer but just as solid track that is their first ever love song. The song is to them, but it is also to everyone else in the room living in that sublime moment of the song. The energy spiked yet again when Ashrita bid the audience into a call and response, shouting “I DON’T WANT YOUR FAKE OBSESSIONS,” while the audience shouted back, “I NEED SOMETHING REAL TO CHANGE,” before launching into the anthemic, rousing track, “the kids aren’t alright.” Before the song that introduced me to Pinkshift, “i’m gonna tell my therapist on you,” we had a group screaming session. Therapy is expensive, punk shows are way more fun.

Finally, the headlining act was Origami Angel. This was my third time seeing them, but my first time buying merch because their fans are ravenous and the merch line is always miles long. Get your merch before the show, people! Origami Angel played all the favorites as well as not-as-known tracks that still had people jumping around and singing along. In the middle of the set, Ryland Heagy asked people to not stage dive for the rest of the set, bringing to mind an incident that happened at the last concert I saw them perform at with Insignificant Other opening. This is a band that cares about its fans, and you can see it in their every interaction — Ryland occasionally sweetly asking the crowd how they’re doing and responding to requests. In between songs the crowd would start chanting “GAMI GANG,” Origami Angel fans as I said are RAVENOUS.

All three bands rocked. A killer line-up, their mix of midwest emo, grunge, and pure anthemic power punk blew the roof clean off and left people gasping in the aftermath. With every twinkly guitar riff, there was a punk scream to answer it, this was definitely a show that was not to be missed.

Keep up with Sweet Pill at https://linktr.ee/sweetpill

Pinkshift at https://www.pinkshiftmd.com

Origami Angel at https://gamigang.com

PHOTOS BY SABRINA YANEZ