"Our new album is called Bless This Mess...and we're currently having technical difficulties," Meg Remy told the crowd at Elsewhere on Monday night after U.S. Girls' second song. It was clear during the first two numbers that something was amiss, with the arrangements not quite packing enough punch. Turns out the percussionist's syn-drums were not firing. While they tested cables, Meg took questions from the audience about her favorite fruit (a ripe peach), pasta shape ("regular, you know, spaghetti"), and more.

After a couple minute, those electronic drums -- sounding like something from Miami Vice or Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" -- thundered on, Remy's eyes lit up and the show was back on. "Let's do this one right, " she said, and the band played "So Typically Now," a song about covid flight and the real estate boom, again, this time with full force while Remy urged the crowd to all go on a rent strike on May 1.

While I miss the live disco band lineup that US Girls toured with for In a Poem Unlimited, this new configurations of the band -- Remy, two keyboardists (one who did most of the backup vocals), a percussionist, and Max Turnbull on guitar -- were up to the task too, for a more synthpop arrangement of songs like "Window Shades," "Futures Bet," "Rosebud," "L-Over," "Four American Dollars." For "Tux (Your Body Fills Me, Boo)" she had a masked dancer onstage in appropriate formal wear, and she intro'd ballad "Woodstock '99" with "Break out your Kleenex."

The "Bless This Mess" tour has lived up to its name, as they suffered setbacks after their tour van was in a bad accident outside of Boston on Saturday that totaled the vehicle and damaged some of their gear. But they all seemed to be taking it in stride to quote a line from their song "Future's Bet": "everything's fine, this is just life." It takes more than that to douse Remy's charisma.

Opening on this tour is Jane Inc, aka US Girls collaborator Carlyn Bezic, who played an engaging one-woman-show set with help from a well-used ring-light. Check out photos by P Squared from the whole night, plus U.S. Girls' setlist, below.

SETLIST: US Girls @ Elsewhere 4/17/2023
Only Daedalus
So Typically Now
So Typically Now
Futures Bet
Bless This Mess
Window Shades
Woodstock ’99
4 American Dollars
Tux (Your Body Fills Me, Boo)
Woman's Work

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