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Live Review: Diet Cig @ Elsewhere


If you took packet of Skittles, poured them into a two liter bottle of Sprite covered in glitter, then drank the entire thing in under two minutes, you still wouldn’t be able to attain the seismic sugar rush that is Diet Cig.

The signature exuberance and rapid fire stage presence of lead singer and guitarist, Alex Luciano, came fully equipped with her high kicks, spins, bass drum jumps and stage dives. The pixie punk duo, made up of, Luciano, and drummer, Noah Bowman, typically play live as a two piece but added two members for this tour, one on bass and another on keyboard.


Even without seeing them perform as a duo prior to this, the transformation from their records, 2017’s full length debut Swear I’m Good At This and a 2015 EP called Over Easy, to the stage is pretty amazing. On the records, there’s an energy infused into the bands sound that makes it sound like their just one BPM away from totally coming apart and this is not a negative comment on their talent or ability. In fact, it’s really impressive.

They’re such tight performers and yet the speed and passion they play with reminds me of the feeling when you’re in music class and the percussion section is constantly speeding up as you get further into the performance.

On “Bite Back” the chorus turns to the line ‘I am so lonely in this big city…’, but follows it with comments on all the people moving around her and how that feeling of isolation comes about. Prior to the song, Luciano joked about her love New Yorker’s pettiness and how she feeds joking, “All those who wronged me, come to me!”

Diet Cig played through their set at a blistering pace, covering nearly all but a handful of their entire discography. In the rare moment where Luciano was planted in one place for more than a few seconds, she was promoting their shows as safe spaces for all, encouraging voter registration and slagging off Paul Ryan.

Luciano’s candid lyrics about relationships and politics are a refreshing enthusiasm towards expression in a scene that sometimes feels top heavy with in-vogue apathy. On the song, ‘Link in Bio’ one line totally encapsulates the ethos of Diet Cig, ‘Don’t tell me to calm down’.

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