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Album Review: Neko Case, The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

September 3, 2013 in Album Reviews

 

Grade: B+

By Zachary Kaczmarek

Story telling has always been a strong suit for the confident Neko Case, whether the lyrics are a variation of her own life or fictitious tales of being unapologetically forthright. Her last release, Middle Tornado, played with the idea of her love being manifested as a reckless force of nature, with her vocals also taking a similar form as her untamable voice seemed to level anything that stood in its path. Creative metaphors seem to roll off the tongue easy for Case as she transforms failed loved and self-doubt into genuine Americana style tales. With each successive release the alt-country veteran has transitioned from writing sad stories that kept her personal life at a safe distance to constructing cathartic lyrics aim straight for the heart.

Although the title of her latest record reads much like the verbose album titles that Fiona Apple is known for, it begins very much like a Neko Case album should, with a strong opening track. “Wild Creatures” isn’t necessarily the standout on the album, but the way it slowly eases into a deceptive melancholic pace before shifting to a convicting frantic mood with hazy distortion and underlying finger picked melodies provides the perfect introduction. When compared to Middle Cyclone, the demeanor seems slightly grimmer, and incredibly vulnerable, even by Case’s standards. But in contrast to her candid introspection that she allows the listener to see, she also gives some of her boldest and most indomitable performances. LP number six for Case, allows all the seething frustration to be properly expunged from her mind and to repave the way with brighter aspirations. The track “Man” which focuses on bucking gender-norms, is a prime example of Case’s refusal to play the victim,  with lyrics that do away with the idea of being a weak daughter/girlfriend/damsel in distress. M. Ward of She and Him lends a hand on hand guitar shredding relentlessly, his intensity equaling perturbed lines like “I am the man in the fucking moon, ‘Cause you didn’t know what a man was til I showed you”. Case runs into a lot of uncertainty on The Worse Things Get… and although she may not be certain who she is trying to be, she sure as hell won’t let anyone else lecture her or attempt to box her in.

As the album moves forward in forming a strong persona that is above any labels or criticism, the sound does the inverse, calling upon alternative twang from Case’s past that had a heavy presence on her early LP’s like The Virginian and Furnace Room Lullaby. The soft somber “Calling Cards” paints a beautifully vivid picture of a classic open road narrative with soft country-folk guitar, telling of a love that that’s separated by highways and held together by payphone calls coast to coast. When lost or distraught, Case looks for the comforting familiar country sounds, something that is a saving grace and shines through on her finest moments.

The final sequence of songs on The Worse Things Get…, perhaps the best string of consecutive tracks on any Neko Case album, make no attempt to put up a wall or hide behind an irate false bravado, but rather simply breakdown and reveal the tension within. “Afraid”, one of her best songs to date, features Case softly consoling another over ominous tones and soft guitar picking, which could be interpreted as a song talking herself through troubles from a third person perspective. Case finds solace in the phrase “you are beautiful and you are alone”, and her solution, or advice in the end is to “banish the faceless, rewatch your grace”. “Local Girl” shows off her fiery side and contempt for society in the ways that an honest young talent is distorted and the bright lights “blot out her face”. Case takes on somewhat of a strong mothering figure and expresses her disgusts with hypocrisy of mankind that wants to judge and ridicule, while failing to recognize internal flaws. The curtain closer “Ragtime”, offers an optimistic end with the bright echoing chords and a chorus of trumpets. Case’s final verse of the album, “Ragtime turning out the sun and moon, Its gravity is soothing, It winds me in a sleep cocoon, Reveal myself when I’m ready, I’ll reveal myself invincible soon”, sums up the inner struggle that The Worse Things Get… presents. There is an upside that can be appreciated, but Case has to venture to hell and back to fully realize it.

 

Must See Concerts: The Features at Last Exit Live, Sept. 12th

July 18, 2013 in Events

 

 

 By Zachary Kaczmarek

In September the southern indie rock act known as The Features will embark on a summer tour that spans numerous west coast states, which includes the a show in the great state of Arizona at Last Exit Live on September 12th. For those wondering why this show meets the criteria for a “must see”, just take a listen to their latest single “This Disorder”. It shows the progressions from the band’s southern tinged indie rock sound to a post-punk influenced style that is just as catchy and irresistible as it is profound. It’s not every day that you get the chance to see a band like The Features live, but if the subtle funk and undeniable talent of that one song isn’t enough proof that The Features are a band at their peak, take a listen to their newest studio effort.

 

Their latest self-titled album is an odd amalgam of sounds that is comparable to a blend of their southern roots and moody bass line driven rock like Interpol, complete with all sorts of fantastic sounding riffs and synthesizers. The album was recorded in just a matter of a month in Vancouver, after they had only spent two weeks back in their home of Nashville, forming rough compositions of each track. One would think that the final product would sound sloppy or rushed, but the unconventional timetable for the recording process opened up new channels of creativity that allow the album to go in so many diverse directions.

Much of the record weaves in between their natural musical habitat and unlikely outside influences. One moment they will be creating a serene moment with echoing synthesizers and dream-like guitar melodies, as they do on the track “With Every Beat”, and the next they’re using fuzzy jangly bass lines to create a heavy dance rock atmosphere, like on the track “The New Romantic”. There’s no doubt that hearing the album live would be twice as enjoyable, and hearing past hits like “Lions” and “How It Starts” would make it a complete musical experience. If the idea of hearing a veteran band that cannot be confined to one genre in an intimate venue doesn’t excite you, then you may need to check your pulse.

TICKETS AVAILABLE AThttp://www.dannyzeliskopresents.com/event/320599-features-phoenix/

Which Summer Music Festival is Worth a Road Trip?

July 8, 2013 in Events

 

By Zachary Kaczmarek

Whether it be among friends or just colleagues who share a deep rooted interest in music, there has always been a debate about which festivals offer the most complete experience while still maintaining an affordable price. Although Coachella and Bonaroo have come and gone, there are still a few great festival experiences to be had. But the question is, which one offers the most memorable experience in exchange for the high cost of admission and travel? Well the answer lies in San Francisco where the Outside Lands Music Festival is held August 9th-11th. If you were to go simply by history and reputation, Lollapalooza seems like the clear cut winner, and if you were to make a decision by which one is the cheapest, Pitchfork Music Festival wins by a landslide. But when factoring in travel costs, 3-day ticket costs, hotel costs, and a complete lineup, Outside Lands meets all the qualifications.

The Cost

Compared to Lollapalooza and Pitchfork Music Festival, which are both held in Chicago, Outside Lands offers the convenience of driving from Phoenix to San Francisco without taking a whole week to get there, which is the economic choice, at a cost of $224 round trip, assuming your vehicle gets at least 25 mpg, according to Travelmath.com. Compare that to spending in the ballpark of $400+ to fly to Chicago round trip. But even if flying is more to your liking, a round trip flight to San Francisco averages around $340, which is nearly $80 dollars less on average than flying round trip to Chicago. Hotel costs in both cities average about the same, ranging anywhere from $222/night to $500+/night, according to Hotels.com. Lastly, but definitely not least, Outside Lands charges $249 for 3-day passes, compared to Lollapalooza 3-day passes, which already sold out earlier this year and are now being resold on Stubhub for a whopping $365.

The Lineup & Experience

The main reason, aside from travel costs, that makes Outside Lands the most appealing choice is the fact that its lineup features a combination of headliners and mid tier acts that have been featured at Coachella, Bonnaroo, and a few that will be playing at Lollapalooza. OSL features Paul McCartney, who recently headlined Bonnaroo, Nine Inch Nails, who will also be headlining Lollapalooza, as well as Phoenix, Vampire Weekend, The National, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jurassic 5, and Grizzly Bear. On top of great headliners and sub headliners, there are also great mid tier acts and newcomers like Surfer Blood, Deap Vally, Gary Clark Jr, Wild Belle, Smith Westerns, Youth Lagoon, The Tallest Man On Earth, and Jessie Ware. OSL also features a huge wine tasting tent and a beer tasting tent, and numerous live art events taking place over the 3 days. Not to mention this 3 day festival takes place in welcoming San Francisco weather which looks to be in the high 60s, low 70s in August, a nice getaway from the scorching Arizona heat.

The bottom line on this festival debate is that Outside Lands brings together heavy hitters like McCartney and NIN, which not many festivals this year can boast about, a bevy of other great bands, visual art experiences, wine and beer tastings, and all for an affordable price in a great city. If you’re looking to combine your summer vacation with a memorable, but reasonably priced festival experience, Outside Lands wins hands down.

Album Review: Deap Vally, Sistrionix

July 5, 2013 in Album Reviews

 

Grade: B

By Zachary Kaczmarek

The phrase “rock is dead” or “rock n roll is dead” is often one that gets its fair share of use when discussing new music, or when today’s artists are compared to legends of past decades. If you were to type in “rock is” in Google, one of the suggestions in the drop down box is “rock is dead”. While the notion that the golden age of rock has already seen its final days in the sun is a bit exaggerated, it is true that there are more individuals interested in becoming the next David Guetta than there are aspiring musicians who emulate old fashion rock n roll. That is exactly why Deap Vally’s debut, Sistrionix stands out among a sea of electronic and Avant-garde music. The duo of Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards aren’t concerned with being aesthetically pleasing or creating a gentle whisper, but instead loud brash garage rock that makes no apologies for lacking finesse or being “unladylike”.

Troy and Edwards immediately go for broke with the opener “End of the World”, a noisy but tightly wound track that is all fuzz and deep thudding drums, much of a White Stripes influence is present, which set the tone for the rest of the album. Troy’s vocals a raspy and wily mix between Robert Plant, Janis Joplin, Jack White, forcibly take command as Edwards hammers the tom drums and crashing cymbals in time like her life depends on it. The overwhelming amount of intensity and passion is what that separates Sistrionix from other albums that strive for this sound, as no track sounds like the duo are simply going through the motions or are attempting to recreate an old sound. “Make My Own Money” takes on a liberating female narrative that focuses on rebelling against the idea of being told by a father to find a rich man to marry, and the line “I’m gonna make my own money/Gonna buy my own land” further solidifies the image of a rambunctious duo that won’t take any crap off anyone. The best part of this track is the seamless transition from the verses that feature Troy’s whiny guitar licks and Edwards’s swift drum fills, to a breakneck chorus where Troy is whaling at the top of her lungs like a woman possessed.

Even though there are times where the immense amount of veracity and tension would have you believe that Troy and Edwards are all piss and vinegar, there are a handful of songs that are downright fun and reckless. “Bad for My Body” speaks of an out of control indulgence in the worst things with the wrong people, and can be summed up with the chorus “If our mothers only knew the trouble that we get into”. The main riff on “New Material”, so irresistible and catchy, also presents a side that shows how Deap Vally’s pummeling rock style can possess some pop sensibilities. Underneath the rough serious exterior of their music is a feeling that is free-spirited and invigorating. Although Sistrionix is intense, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The album comes to a slow grinding halt with the 9 minute masterpiece “Six Feet Under”, a track with multiple parts that eases into a loud hectic mid-section before winding down with nothing but Troy’s voice and a tambourine.  It’s the only moment on the album where Troy and Edwards stop for a moment to look back at the messy beauty that is Sitrionix, and it just shows how Deap Vally refuses to stop until the final they have exhausted everything they can possibly muster. When it’s over, a shell-shocked feeling looms, as it’s hard to believe that an album or the band that made it could be this alluring, but yet so crude and fierce, exists, but in the end it’s reassuring as far as music is concerned, knowing that they do.

Essential Cuts: “End of the World”, “Gonna Make My Own Money”, “Lies”, “Bad for My Body”, “Woman of Intention”, “Six Feet Under”

Album Review: Empire of the Sun, Ice on the Dune

June 28, 2013 in Album Reviews

 

Grade: C+

 By Zachary Kaczmarek

Over the last decade, the popularity of the EDM genre has slowly made its way into other unrelated sounds such as rap, rock, and finally the indie scene. Empire of the Sun bring equal parts MGMT and an EDM club style, with their fantasy undertones and singing style, combined with the colossal level of energy that they bring, capable of commanding massive festival crowds. Their debut, Walking on a Dream, captivated many with their odd mix of acoustic guitars, dance melodies, and poppy hooks. Five years after that record, they follow up with the bombastic Ice on the Dune, a theatrical dance album that at times is irresistibly fascinating.

Although the album presents itself as an over driven indie pop record, it makes slow dramatic transitions that have a fantasy type nostalgic appeal, almost like Never Ending Story, the electro-pop version. Slower paced dreamy moments like “I’ll Be Around” act as the core and the standard for appreciating the album, while “Keep a Watch” establishes an artistic element to contrast their high in the sky pop anthems, with heavy pianos that bring out their inner David Bowie. These necessary changes in tempo and pace creates somewhat of a contrast and a “larger than life” vibe by the time the bigger anthems roll around.

On the other end of the spectrum, tracks like “Concert Pitch” or “DNA” provide the spark that gives a limitless supply of stamina to the album as a whole, with thumping beats piled on top of thick synthesizers, harmonious vocals, and acoustic strumming. From one track to the next, Ice on the Dune hardly loses any steam and maintains its strong hyperactive approach. If anything, the album possesses an overabundance of energy, which begins to drown itself out and drone on about three quarters of the way through. This is perhaps the albums only downfall, as it excels in creating a very high ceiling with the numerous hooks and dance structured indie pop, but fails in creating enough parity to distinguish the highlights from the filler.

At its best, Empire of the Sun’s sophomore effort is a top notch pop album that comes on strong and is relentless. It even adds in the ingredient that most dance music lacks, which is artistic ability that is concerned with trying to generate a particular 70′s fantasy vibe to the music. Their formula is surely a winning one for creating solid hit singles, but in trying to write each song like its an infectious hit the end result is an album that has moments which you cannot help but loop over and over, but there are also low points that are very plain and hollow. It’s not a monumental or life changing album, but it’s a fun outstanding dance record when you pick around the less satisfying moments and absorb the quality tracks that it has to offer.

Album Review: Sigur Rós, Kveikur

June 18, 2013 in Album Reviews

 

Sigur Ros: Kveikur

Grade: B

By Zachary Kaczmarek

If the common belief that music is in fact a universal language which is capable of bridging the gap between cultures, race, and status is correct, then Sigur Rós are worldwide ambassadors for an art that knows no bounds. Despite their lyrics being written and sung in Icelandic, the bands native language, there has been no disconnect or lack of understanding between listeners who cannot speak the language and compositions that are gushing with relatable emotion. Whether the music has been dingy and full of gloom, or captured a beautiful moment of pure ecstasy, the Icelandic post-rock outfit has perfected the art of transferring unfiltered emotions into well drawn out masterpieces. Their 7th studio release, Kveikur, or Candlewick in Icelandic, takes the best moments of past releases and rolls them into a record that’s rough around the edges and hits harder than anything they have attempted.

The bands previous release in 2012, Valtari, could be summed up as slightly vanilla, and even though it possessed the typical minimalist Sigur Ros sound, which is in at a class of its own at this stage in their career, it lacked excitement and spontaneity. But rather than take a break between albums to further tweak their sound, the band releases Kveikur, an album that is the antithesis of Valtari and expresses more aggressive tones at a pace that is very active  for Sigur Rós record. The album opens with “Brennisteinn” (Brimstone), an industrial inspired song which forms at quite quick pace for a band that prefers slowly layering musical elements. A compact whirring synthesizer and forceful drum beats opens the song, as frontman Jónsi  takes the lead with his high reverb Jimmy Page violin guitar playing style (using a cello bow across the strings) and strong falsetto vocals. Most of the album follows a similar pattern of musical activity, as there are not many moments that lull or coast along.

But the album is not all centered around bleak expression, as songs like “Isjaki” (Iceberg) and “Stormur” (Storm) use uplifting bittersweet guitar rhythms, piano lines, and vocal harmonies that create lighthearted textures which allow darker themed tracks like “Kveikur” (Candlewick) to have a greater impact. This is when Sigur Rós is at their finest, being able to express distraught and pent up feelings, but to have the sense not to overdo it and turn the album into an emotional bludgeoning. As with their universally acclaimed Agaetus byrjun, released 14 years ago this month, the joy in the music can be found in the details and the contrast between the tender and soothing, and the disruptive chaos. Some of the most enjoyable audiophile moments take place when a song that was nothing more than a perfect drum fill and Jónsi’s vocals morphs into a runaway train that crashes, complete with turbulent banging of cymbals and loudly contained walls of guitar and bass. The band also has the perfect touch when ending these whirlwind moments, bringing all the hyperactivity to a calm soothing halt.

Kveikur presents an aggressive and less minimalist approach,where the focus is not on creating a delicate slow building or blossoming moment, but an angry and feverishly controlled mass of sound. Kveikur has it melancholic and pretty moments that leave the ear in awe, but more often than not the general mood is brooding and beautifully destructive. This unexpected change of direction shows why they are the best in their genre and perhaps one of the best in music at capturing a wide array of emotions and unleashing it simultaneously in loud dulcet sounds.

Essential Cuts: “Brennisteinn”, “Hrafntinna”, “Isjaki”, “Kveikur”, “Bláprádur”

 

Concert Recap: Torres, Pub Rock Live

June 15, 2013 in Concert Recap

 

By Zachary Kaczmarek

When you hear the voice of a captivating story teller, especially one who conveys such an overwhelming amount of emotion, there is an instantaneous feeling that takes hold, despite the size of the venue or the number of fans in the crowd. That feeling was in the air when Torres, the performing name for Nashville singer/songwriter Mackenzie Scott and her band, broke into her first song. Torres, embarking on her first west coast tour after releasing a critically acclaimed self-titled debut album earlier this year, made a pit stop in Scottsdale at Pub Rock.

With her powerful and moving voice Scott showcased her ability to carry louder melancholic moments like a PJ Harvey, but yet soft and gentle enough to illuminate calm and serene folk songs like “Come to Terms” and “Don’t Run Away, Emilie”. Her stage stage presence was like that of a well seasoned performer, displaying a high level of intensity while belting out vocals and playing her Gibson, and being sweet and personable to fans in between songs with a humble smile on her face. Whether she was backed by her band, playing solo with nothing but her guitar, or hitting gloomy notes on a keyboard, Scott was able to draw the crowd in while baring her soul through her raw intimate lyrics, especially during her most famous song to date, “Honey”. There’s no doubt that Torres has all the makings of a great songwriter and performer, and at the young age of 22, Mackenzie Scott looks to have a long promising career on stage ahead of her. 

 

Concert Recap: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Celebrity Theatre

June 14, 2013 in Concert Recap

 

 

By Zachary Kaczmarek

There are only a handful of acts today that can gracefully walk the line between the music of the past and the modern influences that are considered “current”. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals have built a solid career on bringing back roots rock and psychedelic soul music to an industry that wants to progress forward rather than look back. But instead of coming off as old fashioned or out of place, the band appears as a breath of fresh air. Grace Potter herself, who is considered one of the premiere talents in music, has been compared not to the likes of today’s singers but past greats like Janis Joplin and Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane), and after seeing their performance at the Celebrity Theatre Thursday night; it’s easy to understand why.

GPN’s set can be broken up two equal parts, one part elegant 70s ballad and the second half, wild free for all jam session. Potter came out on the stage dressed like a hippie diva wearing a sparkling robe and heels. The first few songs were softer piano and keyboard rock ballads such as “Apologies” and the sassy “Treat Me Right”, which showcased the bands ability to create an easygoing, yet funky, blues experience. Potters down to earth personality drew lots of applause and smiles as she praised Arizona for having such a unique venue, one that she would “visit all the time on psychedelic drugs” if she were to live in Phoenix.

Midway through the set the wattage was turned way up as the band tore into the song “Ah Mary”, during which Potter thrashed around and head banged while hitting the keys on her piano. The band then followed it up with a western folk cover of Hank Williams “Devil Train”, a cover that Potter said would be on the upcoming Lone Ranger soundtrack. But soon after the stripped down cover, the volume was cranked up again with the deep thud of drums on the psych rock track, “Loneliest Soul”, which sounds like a perfect fit for a Tim Burton film.

Potter then took her turn rocking out as she picked up her Gibson Flying V and unleashed her thunderous vocals for “Stop the Bus” and the epic finale “Nothing But the Water”, which the band stretched out to 10 plus minutes with improvised solos and musicianship that one might see when a group of friends get together for a jam session. After the band walked off stage the crowd was roaring for them to come back and do an encore.

When they finally came back on stage the crowd grew even louder as the band played their song “Medicine”. The final two tracks that they performed were special in their right as the emotional piano ballad “Stars” had a somber tone, and the wild rock anthem “Paris” had the crowd singing along to the chorus line “Ooh la la, la la la la”. Potter and her band proved that they possess a special talent to transport those who show up to watch them play back to the days of classic rock and blues, while bringing an unparalleled level of energy. If there’s such a thing as a last frontier for rock n roll, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are leading the charge.

Lyrical Breakdown: Alt-J

June 13, 2013 in Lyrics

 

By Zachary Kaczmarek

Since Alt-J’s debut, An Awesome Wave, was released last year many have become addicted to the infectious melodies and the unique sounds that the band has melded together. Initially their music sounds beautiful and joyous, with all sorts of harmonious vocals and so much layered instrumentation, and at certain times it’s hard to decipher what some of the lyrics are due to Joe Newman’s strong accented and laidback vocal style. But upon further examination, there’s more to their biggest hits than catchy well written ditties, for at the core there are poetic and very emotional lyrics that give more insight to each song, and allow for a more a enjoyable listening experience.

 

“Matilda”

Although “Matilda” could be interpreted as the band’s ode to a girl that has a place near their hearts, the title is named after the main character played by a young Natalie Portman in the the 1994 Luc Beeson directed film, The Professional, also known as Leon: The Professional. The lines “This is if from, this is from, this is from Matilda”, and “Put the grenade pin in your hand, so you know whose boss” references the final scene in the film in which the main character in the movie, Leon, pulls the pin of a grenade and says “this is from Matilda”, before the grenade kills himself and the villainous character Stansfield, played by Gary Oldman.

 

 

 

“Fitzpleasure”

This loud buzzing and infectious track chronicles the graphic tale of Tralala, a prostitute in the book Last Exit to Brooklyn by Huber Selby. The title of the song is a play on words and derives from the lyric “In your snatch fits pleasure, broom shaped pleasure”. In one scene of the story, which is the premise of the song, Tralala is sexually assaulted by a group of sailors after a night of heavy drinking. Although the theme of the song is hard to digest and is not exactly easy-listening, the band really does gamble it all on an musical depiction of a story that they felt the need to write about.

 

 

 

“Breezeblocks”

The band’s biggest hit paints a picture of a man who is slowly losing the affection of his significant other, and uses lots of creative references than can be broken down. The opening lines, “She may contain the urge to run away, but hold her down with soggy clothes and breezeblocks” expresses how the main character in this song feels the need to keep her around and suggests that he must drown her with breezeblocks, or cinder blocks, to prevent her from leaving, which is depicted in the music video below. The line “Cetirizine your fevers gripped me again” tells how the main character views his woman’s change of heart as an illness, and that she needs a cure, which is where the metaphor for the allergy medication comes in. The main character goes onto to say in the chorus “the fear has gripped me but here I go, my heart sinks as I jump in”, and that he will take a leap of faith to try and save his relationship. The outro sees the main character making a desperate plea, “Please don’t go, I’ll eat you whole, I love you so”, which insinuates that he may do something drastic if she leaves, such as what he suggested in the opening verse of the song.

 

 

 

“Something Good”

The tantalizing song, Something Good, describes the death of a matador in a bout with a bull, which serves as a very clever analogy for someone who suffers from a broken heart and must find something good to distract the person from the emotional pain of lost love. The chorus “Get high, hit the floor before you go/Matador, escotada, you’re my blood sport” is good imagery that compares the man’s love for the woman as a dangerous match with a bull that results in the ravaging of his heart. The final verse of the song “Now that I am clean the matador is no more and dragged from view” is the nail in the coffin as the man feels no need to get entangled with this exhausting love anymore, as the matador persona disappears.

 

Concert Recap: STRFKR, Crescent Ballroom

June 6, 2013 in Concert Recap

 

 

By Zachary Kaczmarek

The Portland natives known as STRFKR or Starfucker, put every ounce of sweat into making their live shows an ethereal experience, and their show at the Crescent Ballroom was no exception to that rule. Playing like a veteran band they commanded the stage and got the entire crowd to dance and bop around for their entire set. The high level of energy that they brought matched the high level of musicianship, as each member was pulling double duty on guitar and keyboard or bass, keyboard, and snare drums, and with such a raw amount of passion for their craft. The giant LED light screen that they brought along with them featured all sorts of psychedelic and spacey patterns which appropriately matched each song and gave the show a feel of a mid-size arena show.

The setlist covered classic songs like “Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second”, “Julius”, and newer songs off their latest release like “While I’m Alive”. At one point the set took a turn for wild house party when members from the opening act Feelings, dressed up in various costumes, (astronaut, elephant, Gumby, bunny rabbits) danced around on stage, and then went into the crowd release garbage bags filled with balloons. It was a strange moment that caught fans off guard, but it was welcomed with open arms and it was essential to creating a unique experience. 

After the band wrapped up their main set they left the stage, drawing chants from the entire crowd to play an encore, which they happily obliged. The perfect moment of the entire show in which everything came together was their well-loved cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. Almost everyone in the venue was dancing or employing some sort of move and singing along as people in giant rabbit suits were surfing through the crowd. It was a night to be remembered for all the right reasons and thanks to the Starfucker’s perfect execution and showmanship, a unique spectacle that went beyond the typical concert experience was created for all who attended.

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