Identical twins Jess and Lisa Origliasso brought their power-pop onslaught to the Town Ballroom on Sunday evening, but very few people showed to bask in the girls' glory.
The Veronicas, as the Origliassos are known, have just launched a tour in support of their debut album, "The Secret Life of the Veronicas," which hits stores Tuesday. And though a major publicity machine fueled by an endless stream of dollars is behind this project, word apparently has not made it to these parts; only a hundred or so folks made it out to the show.
Those hundred supporters will likely be bragging within a few months, for the Veronicas seem poised to make it, and in a big way. They're talented, attractive, far from controversial or complex, and ready to ease into a tailor-made market that values short, to-the-point pop tunes, good looks and a veneer of "cool with the kids" hipness.
If the Veronicas and their immaculate band were disappointed to arrive in Buffalo to a thin crowd, they didn't show it. Following an inspired opening set by young hopefuls October Fall, a pop-emo outfit that went down well with the crowd, the Origliassos took the stage with "Revolution," the first single from the album.
Those who made the effort to get down to the Town Ballroom shrieked their delight. Veronicas T-shirts were in abundance, and most of the largely female crowd seemed well-acquainted with the girls' music.
Not surprisingly, the Veronicas re-created their album in a short, sharp set highlighted by astute harmony vocals and catchy, pop-punk mini-anthems. The backing ensemble of twin guitars, bass and drums improved on the formulaic radio-friendly ambience of the Origliassos' record, and the fiery delivery certainly made the tunesrock in a manner the record's slick production obfuscates.
"Mouth Shut," "When It Falls Apart" and "Everything I'm Not" made plain the Veronicas' template -- witty, slightly snide lyrics married to power-chord pop-punk, with plenty of interplay between the Origliassos' all-but-identical voices. Both are powerful singers, and when they harmonize, they do so with a result that only siblings can produce. The music is generic and not particularly inventive, but the Veronicas perform it incredibly well, in a style that seems ready-made for commercial success. "4ever" encapsulated this ethic most clearly.
The evening's standout, oddly enough, was the only cover tune on "The Secret Life of the Veronicas," a peppy take on Tracy Bonham's torrid "Mother Mother."
Near the end of the set, pop idol Ryan Cabrera, who is said to be dating one of the Origliassos, showed up on stage incognito, behind a mask from Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas," to play bass on one tune. No one seemed any the wiser, though the girls exchanged knowing smirks as Cabrera bounded about the stage like some bizarre near-metal costume party attendee.
In all, a strong performance from a band we're likely to be hearing a lot about in the coming months.