Breeders Sisters Go Doublemint at Birthday Show

Kim & Kelley. Photo: Amy Squires

“They’re like Doublemint gum,” a middle-aged man spouted excitedly at the Breeders’ Webster Hall show last night. “How do you tell them apart?” It was an annoying joke from a sloppy drunk, but the comment did touch on the night’s special symmetry: Front-lady sisters Kim and Kelley Deal were celebrating their (47th) birthdays — which means, for the astrologically disinclined, that they are not only twins, but also Geminis, whose astrological symbol represents the twin. The show reunited loving sisters (both in plain black shirts) with adoring fans and paired thrumming distortion with delicate hush, jokey asides with harrowing songs. The music — which included a grab bag of covers, “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” among them — was tight and fast but thankfully not quite neat and clean; it was often tough to make out what Kim (and less so Kelly) was singing. But we all heard her loud and clear when she announced, ostensibly to the violinist friend who joined them onstage, “You know my mom’s got the Alzheimer’s … You saw her last summer, right? She’s way worse now.” It was a testament to the night’s all-around openness of feeling that Kim’s boozy admission somehow fit right into the celebratory (first) encore. Encore two culminated in an audience rendition of “Happy Birthday” and the bringing out of a cake. Grinning wide, Kim flipped everyone the bird — with both hands. —Nick Catucci