3/1 @ the Echoplex
I last saw !!! ten years ago; the singer had a rat tail, the horn section from OutHud was accompanying, and they were friggin’ fantastic. This time, there was no rat tail (thankfully) or horn section, but they were friggin’ fantastic.
This was a crowd that loved to dance and a band that loves to make that happen, as evidenced by the rail tail-less singer, who was dancing as much as we were. There was a lot of pelvic thrusting and I was hoping he would remove his jeans to reveal a gold lamé Speedo, but alas, this had to be left to my imagination. He also utilized jazz hands multiple times, which pleased me very much. The singer ended up in the crowd several times and at one point, I noted upon his return to the stage that he had a bloodied elbow. I don’t think the crowd cared; those in front were reaching out for him to touch them as I would only for Donnie Wahlberg of New Kids on the Block (dead serious here, folks).
The musical proficiency of the band can’t be ignored in lieu of praising just the singer. There were two drum kits and at one point, half the band was playing on ’em. The keyboardist also played drums AND a wee bit of saxophone. Impressive, no? Nobody freaked him, but then again, he seemed comfortable staying behind his instruments. Without the instruments, we wouldn’t have had the infectious beat to dance to, and I do mean infectious. I was moving before I knew what was happening, and I didn’t stop dancing for an hour and a half – neither did the rest of the crowd. It got a little sweaty. They ended the show with “Intensify,” which a crowd member had asked for; I heard others say they’d never heard !!! play that live and they were super stoked (ten years ago they did play it, but, well…I’m old).
Can’t leave out opening band Wild Belle. I thought they were a bit reggae-ish when I walked in and at first I wasn’t into it, but they won me over. The female vocals reminded me a bit of Cat Power (except you didn’t have to be afraid this vocalist would erupt into tears)(does Chan Marshall still do that? I’m way behind the times), the music was easy to groove on (for lack of a better word), and I could see myself driving around listening to them (album only available on vinyl, so not really car-friendly). Check them out here.
DJ Maliboo Skipper