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Chastity Belt Concert Review

Design, Photos and Story by Hailey Chisholm

After five years apart working on solo projects, the four members of Chastity Belt are back together on a third album; Live, Laugh, Love. The heart of this album lies in themes such as insecurity, loss, and the turmoil of life, yet still connects back to the original Chastity Belt humor and wit that fans fell in love with years ago. The title itself is its own joke, a phrase that is often cringe-inducing. “Live, Laugh, Love”, the philosophy behind every middle aged wine mom. However, through the course of the album, the indie girl band flips the sarcastic representation and finds truth in the literal meaning of living, laughing, and loving. 

In celebration of this reunion, the Washington-based band is on tour and WXOU was lucky enough to catch a conversation with lead vocalist/guitarist Julia Shapiro and bassist Annie Truscott on May 11, 2024. Afterwards, we got to watch them take over the stage at El Club, an intimate venue tucked into the 2 square mile town of Hamtramck, founded for indie bands to come together and make noise. 

Upon arriving at El Club, I made friends with security (Hi Caramel!) and found myself transported into an atmosphere of neon lights, exposed brick and murals. It is a cozy area, including a small unique, decorated bar and patio, a great place to hang out on a spring afternoon. 

Opening for Chastity Belt was Charlotte Cornfield, a solo artist from Toronto with a talent for musical storytelling. Her soft voice slowly pulled the crowds to the stage, the perfect complement to the grungier, moody sounds of Chastity Belt. 

Once Chastity Belt took the stage, the crowd exploded and the small venue became flooded with rich, calculated riffs and laid back beats. Head nodding was immediate and contagious. Naturally, they opened their set with “Hollow”, the first track on “Live, Laugh, Love”. It is a bouncier tune that insists on your attention, while weaving in somber, self reflective lyrics. 

“I wanna trust myself again”

Shapiro’s melancholy voice floated through the crowd, the perfect messenger for the emotions presented. I am thoroughly impressed by their ability to communicate powerful concepts while maintaining an upbeat energy. I was also impressed by the members’ musical abilities, switching instruments a few times throughout the show. 

Overall, in concert, Chastity Belt delivered a memorable experience; laidback, yet still energetic in the right moments. I felt like part of a community while in the El Club, and can truthfully say that the band is just as talented in person as they sound in recordings. After ten years of making music, Chastity Belt has perfected their sound and earned a loyal fanbase, so I definitely recommend checking out the scene next time they are in town. 



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