SF Sketchfest Review: The Girls on 2/01/2014

by Mitch Kocen on February 2, 2014

The Girls

You’d be forgiven for assuming that The Girls is a vanity project. Fronted by Julianna Guill (Underemployed, Glory Daze), Cyrina Fiallo (The Sopranos, Good Luck Charlie) and Alison Brie (Mad Men, Community) and backed by members of the Jones Street station (Danny Erker, Walt Wells and the drummer who’s name I’m afraid I didn’t catch. It may be Paul Apelgren but I can’t say that with full certainty), the project has all the trappings of a hastily thrown together cover band for three actresses who can maybe sing a little.

You’d be forgiven, but you’d be wrong.

The Girls are phenomenal.

There’s no other way to state it. The Girls absolutely killed it last night on the second show of their double bill. Yes, they are funny. Their stage banter had the audience in stitches. It’s clear that all three singers like each other very much and a mix of inside and outside jokes peppered the moments between songs. They riffed and improvised effortlessly, taunting a young man who was texting during their set by calling him “Period Boy” after Fiallo revealed that she got her first period while watching the Shining. They received beers from a member of the audience and when he said “I didn’t put anything in it” had a lengthy bit about roofies. They laughed and snapped and did gymnastics poses. Despite the fact that their songs are generally straightforward bluegrassy covers of hit songs, they absolutely belonged at Sketchfest.

And these women can sing like you wouldn’t believe. The trio took turns taking the lead on songs, with the other two providing flawless harmony. The strongest of the three was Guill, who has a delicate twang that absolutely enraptured the audience every time she was featured. Fiallo’s small frame hides a surprisingly powerful voice and Brie (who has sung several times over the course of Community) was shockingly the weakest voice while still being a phenomenal singer in her own right.

If you do a quick search on Youtube, you’ll find a few of The Girl’s better known covers, like the folksy “My Name is Jonas” or the crowd pleasing “Call Your Girlfriend.” Those videos give you an idea of what they sing, but not how they sing. Their stage presence, honeyed vocals and quirky dance moves makes this an act that is absolutely worth your time to see live.

Also, I promised Fiallo that I’d call out her “Ghost Cat” scarf that she wore because the stage was freezing cold. She milked a shocking amount of humor out of that scarf, a clear sign of what a talented comedic actress she is.

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