Live Review: Ex Hex @ Ottobar — 12/14/19

ExHex3
Ex Hex performs at Ottobar on Dec. 14, 2019. (Photo by David LaMason)

Roller skates, pinball, and rock ‘n roll. These are things that my mind is immediately drawn to when I hear the music of Ex Hex.

For me, it’s comforting to hear that twin guitar rock again that had become part of my DNA as a kid. Like hearing the music of Joan Jett or Thin Lizzy, it’s something that the musical receptors in my brain have been craving and it’s a relief to hear it from Ex Hex, the band formed by Mary Timony (Helium, Autoclave), Betsy Wright (Bat Fangs, The Fire Tapes), and Laura Harris (Aquarium, Death Valley Girls). This past year, the trio released their sophomore album, It’s Real, continuing the tear-it-up rock ‘n roll from their debut, Rips (which also celebrated its five year anniversary this year).

Playing their last show of the year, Ex Hex brought the noise to a packed Ottobar on Dec. 14. And as a cool surprise, in addition to Mary, Betsy, and Laura, on bass was the amazing Michelle Mae of DC greats The Make Up. After amazing sets by Baltimore band Quattracenta and super group of sorts, DC’s own Gauche (with members of Priests and Downtown Boys), Ex Hex took the stage to huge applause.

Gauche2
Gauche

With little introduction, the band flew into “Good Times” from the new record. And it was immediately apparent, this was gonna be a fun evening as Mary and Betsy played to the crowd, trading vocals and guitar licks. And while most of the tunes were from It’s Real, there were fan favorites from their debut like, “Beast” and “How You Got That Girl,” with its harmonies and Cars vibe.

ExHex25
Mary Timony and Betsy Wright

And as Betsy and Mary shredded on guitar, Laura hammered on under a big neon Ex Hex sign — she’s one of the best drummers I’ve seen — while at one point, Mary and Betsy watched on side by side while Michelle played tore it up on bass.

Watch a video for “Rainbow Shiner” by Ex Hex on YouTube:

After playing what seemed like a far too short set, the band came back to play one of my fave’s — “Radio On” — followed by “Hot and Cold.” Although this is the last show of Ex Hex’s 2019 tour supporting It’s Real, I’m selfishly hoping the band returns soon. This was one fun show! Check out more on Ex Hex here.

The setlist included:

Good Times
Diamond Drive
Radiate
Tough Enough
Another Dimension
You Fell Apart
Beast
How You Got That Girl
Rainbow Shiner
Cosmic Cave
Everywhere

Encore:
Radio On
Hot and Cold

Here are some more photos of Ex Hex performing at the Ottobar on Dec. 14, 2019. All photos copyright and courtesy of David LaMason.

ExHex19
Ex Hex
ExHex4
ExHex2
Michelle Mae
ExHex1
ExHex10
Laura Harris
ExHex9
ExHex11
ExHex12
ExHex13
ExHex15
ExHex16
ExHex18
ExHex26
ExHex22
ExHex8
ExHex7
ExHex20
ExHex23bw
ExHex24bw
ExHex21bw
ExHex5bw

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.