By Ethan Lam
There’s a certain formula to a high school talent show. There will always be a magician, a hip-hop dance troupe, and someone who can juggle, potentially in that exact order. Another universal constant feature of the talent show is the two girls singing together who absolutely blow everybody away, not just with how good they sound, but also because of their incredible dynamic— above all else, they’re having fun with each other, something that translates incredibly well into their performance.
I mention this scenario because Overcoats reminded me of those two girls in every possible way. Opening for Mitski at the House of Blues, the first thing Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell did after walking on stage dressed in… well, overcoats, was give each other a long hug complete with back pats. They started the night off with “Smaller Than My Mother”, dancing and sashaying towards one another the entire time, their rich and immaculately-constructed vocal harmonies surfing on top of a bouncy electronic beat. The crowd immediately latched on and erupted into a soft groove. The next song, “Hold Me Close”, a more traditional folk song, was a mellower affair that left the audience gently swaying. Their entire set was a display of their dynamic, diverse, and versatile styles— one minute, they could be playing a tender and soulful song like “Walk On”, their calming vocal harmonies evoking a sincere vulnerability, and the next, they could be rocking out and strutting across the stage, those same harmonies now powering the highs of a more explosive song like “The Fool”, a song from their upcoming album.
They ended “The Fog” with an effortlessly cool fist bump and took each other’s hands and did a twirl during “I Don’t Believe In Us”. In between “Walk On” and “Nighttime Hunger” as JJ began to thank the crowd, Hana took off her overcoat and blurts out “JJ, I took my jacket off”, to which JJ responded “Oh god… I don’t know if I’m ready!”, before taking off her own overcoat. It’s playful moments like these, peppered throughout the entirety of their set, that really illustrate just how well the two complement each other— their mutual confidence and ability to feed off of each other’s energy shone through in their infectious, energetic, and playful performance.