Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
illuminati hotties. The name itself is sufficient to yield a smile. While the original Illuminati referred to a late 18th century, secret society advocating secularism and later became a term associated with anti-Semitism, the secret of the latter day illuminati hotties is fortunately out.
The hotties gained a major foothold in the musical world with the 2020 release, "Let Me Do One More," which was very well received and made year-end best of lists.
The brainchild of LA-based musician Sarah Tudzin, the illuminati hotties were pure joy in the lives setting as well, merging indie pop, new wave, punk and dance elements into their buoyant music.
There were a lot of quick stops and starts (even taking a break during a 15-second break during (You're Better) Than Ever" to grab a drink of water for reasons unknown), with a basic backing band of guitar/backing vocals from Sapphire Jewell, steady handed drumming from Ryan Fyffe and bassist Zach Bilson.
Tudzin, who went to nearby Berklee and jokingly made reference to her time here and the cold weather, which she was not prepared for, was all about having fun. The titles are enough to induce smiles: the lead-off "Joni: LA's No. 1 Health Goth," "Threatening Each Other re: Capitalism" and then there are the songs with letters ("u v v p" and "MMMOOOAAAAAYAYA" with the latter an upbeat, decidedly upbeat call-and-response with the more than willing crowd).
Decked out in a red jumpsuit (as was the drummer), Tudzin's perky, engaging personality seaped into the songs. Before launching into the closing "free ppls," Tudzin announced that this would be the last song, eliciting a deserved chorus of boos. "Are you guys booing?" Tudzin asked knowingly. "That's so sick. Can you give me a big one? That feels so good."
Of course, the crowd – a bit on the small side at 200 or so – wanted more. The illuminati hotties (and crowd) more than warranted that. No joke.
Enumclaw, an indie rock quartet out of Tacoma, Wash., preceded the hotties with a stint that didn't stray far sonically, but forged an enjoyable set featuring songs from their just released "Save the Baby." Lead singer Aramis Johnson could have stood out far more in the mix, but guitarist Nathan Cornell, drummer Ladaniel Gipson, and bassist Eli Edwards (Johnson's brother) kept the music flowing.