by Zoë Sommers
Liverpool duo Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading, better known as the band Her’s, made their Boston debut on March 10 at the small and intimate Sonia. Around 10 pm, the two made their appearance on stage, two cups of a mystery beverage in lead vocalist Stephen’s hands. Later, he revealed that the cups held an unintentionally strong gin and tonic. Whoops. As for equipment, the two kept it simple: guitar and microphone for Stephen, bass for Audun, a laptop, and a small drum machine. While they set up, the Everly Brothers crooned “All I Have to Do is Dream” over the venue’s speakers.
They kicked off their set with “Marcel,” a track off of their debut album, Songs of Her’s. I’ll admit, I was initially a bit concerned when they began playing the automatic backing drums. While the guitar, bass, and singing seemed to be spot on, some musicality was lost in the pre-recorded beat that the two played over. This concern stayed in the back of my mind until about the third song in. At this point, the two finally seemed to get fully comfortable performing onstage, making up for the seemingly missing third band member.
Audun had some of the best moves I’ve ever seen from a bass player. He immediately began bouncing and bopping around, giving a steady stream of high energy playfulness throughout the night. Stephen had a more mellow approach, sticking to his spot in front of the microphone while strumming his guitar. It was obvious from their interactions with each other that the two are best friends, a fact that was referenced genially throughout the night.
Another band “member” was soon revealed to the audience when a cardboard cutout of Pierce Brosnan was dragged to center stage. When questions from the crowd were shouted, the two replied that they were practically contractually obligated to give him an appearance at every show: it’s tradition.
With Pierce keeping watch, Her’s began their most popular song “Cool With You” under flashing pink lights. Its languid beginning moved the audience to sway slowly, however the beat change in the middle of the song quickly inspired more energetic dancing among the crowd.
Another standout was “Dorothy,” accentuated with red strobe lights and lively dancing. The live performance of this track felt much more upbeat than the studio recording, giving an exciting variation to what the crowd was probably expecting.
“Harvey” was the perfect ode to best-friendship as the show wrapped up. As the song drew to a close, the two got lower and lower to the ground, ultimately ending up laying on the floor together as they continued with their respective instruments. Getting close and playing together, the bond that the two friends share was undeniable.
In my opinion, the only weakness in the pair’s performance was the lack of a drummer. The chemistry that the duo has may change upon bringing in a real third band member, but if they can replicate their current relationship with another person, Her’s could be unstoppable.