WASHINGTON, DC: Austra performs at the Black Cat. September 19, 2013. ? Brandon Wu / for the Washington City Paper.

The genre labels that have been applied to Austra‘s two studio recordings (electronic, synthpop, dream pop) don’t seem to adequately describe the band’s music, and this seems doubly true in concert. Using both catchy dance beats and near-ambient drones as backdrops to invariably earwormy melodies, Austra—-with Katie Stelmanis‘ unique and powerful vocals as the ever-present anchor—-transcended both easy categorization and a few technical glitches last night at the Black Cat. Playing a selection that seemed to draw evenly from both Feel It Break and the recently released Olympia, it wasn’t hard to see why the band has made waves in recent years.

Photos from both Austra and openers Diana in the full slideshow.