Alex Cameron and Roy Molloy
with Lola Kirke & Emily Panic
March 2, 2019 at Great Scott
Alex Cameron is a man with a tremendous amount of energy. He ran from side to side, sang with his hips and put his face right up to the audience.
Alex Cameron writes music for the kids who live behind screens. He writes songs about only being able to open up to usernames and pixels; from the perspective of people lying about their age for nefarious reasons, and for people who find that they only fit in when they’re behind a screen.
Surprisingly, Cameron was no awkward recluse when he took to the stage. He was animated, dynamic, and unbothered by anything in the room.
Unsurprisingly, the audience was awkward and uncomfortable from the start, which was painfully apparent when the first opener, comedian Emily Panic, came on. Despite being a Boston native and former resident of the apartments above the Great Scott, there seemed to be little for the audience to connect with as she went from person to person trying to find some material to banter with.
Lola Kirke came on next and brought the audience back with a beautiful, stripped down and acoustic set. The Mistress America star serenaded the room to a soft and peaceful lull with her slower songs, such as “Monster,” and “Not Used.” Then, she got everyone’s feet tapping in their cowboy boots when she and her violinist kicked the show into another gear with songs like “Tomorrow Morning.” They left the audience wanting more, which led nicely into Alex Cameron and Roy Molloy’s set.
The set began with the electric “Studmuffin96,” a song about a catfish pretending to be 21 and waiting for his online love to turn 17, the legal age of consent in Australia. The audience went wild, screaming out the lyrics along with him, and that set the tone for where we were going the rest of night.
The stage was mostly bare. There was a mic for Cameron, a table for his laptop, and a stool for Roy Molloy. Molloy is Alex’s business partner, saxophonist, and just a few months before the show, saved a boy from drowning.
Alex acknowledged the minimal set up after the first song, telling the audience that his manager told him not to do this tour, as it would “make it look like they needed money.” He scoffed at the idea and then loudly asked the audience “Does it look like we need any f***ing money,” who all responded with an uproar.
Alex then went back to his laptop, where he played what were essentially karaoke versions of his songs, before returning to the front of the stage. With only a mic in his hand and saxophonist by his side, Alex made up for the minimal set up with his vibrant performance. I was there to shoot the show too, but in the dimly lit depths of the Great Scott it was nearly impossible to shoot a man with so much energy. He ran from side to side, sang with his hips, and put his face right up to the audience. He was drenched in sweat only a few songs in, but the audience demanded more, and he was happy to give. To aid his two-man show, he brought back Lola Kirke to sing a verse from “Stranger’s Kiss,” sung by Angel Olsen on the studio album. They traded verbal blows and ended singing face to face, before the audience gave her a warm send off. The show ended with Alex protesting and mocking nightlife culture with “Marlon Brando.” The thumping beat and macho, chest pounding chorus electrified the audience. After, without any encore, he left the stage as quickly as he had danced across it, and that was it.