A hop and a step within Hell’s Kitchen on the west side of Manhattan, on Thursday March 19th, Stage 48 played host to an evening with Perfume Genius and support from Jenny Hval. The multi-level nightclub turned music venue was packed to the brim on a chilly Thursday evening, as the man behind the name, Mike Hadreas, put on a deeply resonating show.

First up was Jenny Hval, accompanied by two vixens clad in wigs. Part performance art, part concert, Hval opened by sitting on the floor, being projected onto a small screen in front of the stage. Swinging moods between a desperate sorrow to a passionate punk spunk, the Australian-native delicately navigated these ranges with a high pitched soprano contrasted against her DJs thunderous beats that had a disjointed effect against the atmospheric vibe. The vixens, meanwhile, were armed with props like chains and bananas, at one point seductively grasping for them while on all fours. With a dearth of artists and the genuine act of performance, Hval’s set was a refreshing take on traditional concerts.

Perfume Genius was next to go on, alternating between moving around stage and sitting at the keyboards for songs sung in soulful solitude. Hadreas, clad in a Betty Boop nightshirt, fishnet stockings, and leather booties, joked around with the hip crowd, remarking on how he “only has two dance moves, but they’re good.”


Showcasing a profound tenderness at the keyboards, Perfume Genius displayed a seemingly newfound confidence with his emotional outpouring throughout the mostly mellow, melancholy set. At one point he was joined by his fellow keyboardist, playing on the same keyboard, creating a really engaging dynamic between the two. “Queen,” off the 2014 album Too Bright, closed the night on a high note, as the crowd grooved to the upbeat radio single.