The venue is key here. Heather Go Psycho take the floor (there is no stage, only slick wooden planks for wedding-reception bunny-hopping) around 10 p.m., and they have it all to themselves. Metal folding chairs line the walls, and the audience remains seated, awkwardly, like middle-school boys at their first coed dance. Maybe vocalist-guitarist Jackee Flores is just too intimidating.
She’s short and wears plastic-framed glasses, which she takes off shortly after she starts playing, but she claws at the guitar like there’s candy hidden inside and screams like a panther whose mother never said it was special. She briefly gives the chords space to resonate on opener “Ragdoll” before losing her shit completely in a fit of shrieks and shredding, a song structure that will become increasingly familiar over the next half hour.
“Carousel” keeps a comfy pop-punk pace for all of about 45 seconds before drummer Diana Sanchez’s violent pounding kicks the ride into overdrive and all the kids go flying off the metal horsies. The Wachowski brothers’ hyperactive live-action Speed Racer is projected on a screen behind the band, and even Speed seems to lag behind. The ersatz bassist, filling in until the band finds a suitable female replacement, does better, setting the pace for Flores’s massive guitar mood swings in “Super Drunk Girl.” “Boy Eats Girl” begins with Flores describing the horrors of zombie love at a growling Black Sabbath grind, but the rhythm expectedly makes a run for it once the undead begin to bite.
But through it all, the crowd stays seated, and the band, despite Flores’s fear-instilling caterwaul, remains mostly subdued. An actual stage and a space for the audience to mosh without fear of their sneakers scuffing the floor might’ve made all the difference. Going psycho at prom apparently still requires several gallons of pig’s blood and the power of telekinesis.