Elizabeth Bruneau, AOL
Whatever the reason for their tardiness, Class Actress made the most of their shortened set, chauffeuring a roomful of head-nodding fans back to 1984. A trio on record, they played Thursday as a two-piece, Harper singing and tapping out one-handed melodies on a tiny Casio keyboard, producer Scott Rosenthal blipping and blooping away on a chunky vintage synth.
"This is the most stripped-down show we've ever played," Harper said.
If the singer had just woken up it, it didn't register in her performance. Mixing two songs from the 2009 'Journal of Ardency' EP with three from Class Actress' excellent full-length debut, 'Rapprocher,' which arrived earlier this week, the duo did minimalist New Wave with maximal sex appeal. All driving beats, rubbery synths and yearning melodies, it's music meant for dark clubs, but it worked just as well in broad daylight, amid racks of colorful footwear.
At first, Harper seemed thrown by the venue -- Class Actress probably doesn't do many retail gigs -- but she quickly warmed to her surroundings, ditching her dark shades and blazer and unbuttoning the top buttons on her oversize man's shirt. On the bouncy 'Prove Me' and breathy 'Journal of Ardency,' she seductively tousled her hair, giving herself the look of someone who had, indeed, just gotten out of bed -- though not because she'd overslept.