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Making big impression
Written by Anne-Marije Rook - Argonaut
Thursday, 26 March 2009

A good live band should have you leave the venue sweaty from dancing and ready to rush to the computer to download all its music from iTunes. San Francisco-based Von Iva does just that.
Currently on its “Hell on Heels tour,” Von Iva played at El Corazon last week in Seattle and delivered a high-energy, highly-entertaining performance. What’s great about up-and-coming artists is they play as though their lives depend on it. Because well … they do.

Made up of one blonde and two brunettes, Von Iva is an all-girl band whose interesting blend of electro-pop-rock executed by synths, drums and rough soulful vocals features no string instruments.

The rocker-chick trio is made up of Rebecca “Bex” Kupersmith on the keyboards, Kelly “lay-lay” Harris on the drums and is fronted by the loud, stiletto-heeled and tattoo-clad Jillian Iva.

The set ranged from booty-shaking funk to electro-synth numbers. Von Iva’s sound is a little pop-rock, a little disco, a little soul and everything in between. You just can’t quite put your finger on it.

Original in their defying of genres, they are a lot of attitude and fun.

Semi Precious Weapons, Justin Tranter’s New York glam-rock band, warmed up the crowd with a lively and entertaining performance of its own. So when Von Iva took the stage, the crowd was ready for some dancing, jumping and shouting.

Jillian Iva is the only non-stationary member of the band and took advantage of the freedom, strutting her sassy, fashion-forward self all over the stage, atop speakers and into the crowd. With her soulful vocals and sexy dominating presence, she took command of the stage and the audience.

Harris was rhythm-perfect behind the drum kit, but she made a real impression when midway through the set, she jumped to the front of the stage and fiercely played the tom-toms with a cloth-covered mallet. Good female drummers are few and far between, thus, seeing a female drummer deliver well is a definite plus.

Meanwhile, Bex solidly delivered the melodies on her two keyboards.

The all-ages crowd at El Corazon saw a high-energy, uninhibited performance and loved it.

Von Iva released its first, self-titled EP in 2004 under Cochon Records, followed it with “Our Own Island” under Ruby Tower Records in 2007 and is currently touring to promote the self-released EP, “Girls On Film.”

Last December, Von Iva also appeared in the movie “Yes Man” as Zooey Deschanel’s fictional band, Munchausen by Proxy.

Von Iva might defy categorization but it is a band on the rise. That much is for sure. It has everything a live band should have — a mix of undeniable stage presence, musical talent, uniqueness and attitude. The band’s energy and music is infectious and its performances are well worth the ticket price and some merchandise.

Von Iva will be back in Seattle and Portland in May and again in June. Visit for information.