Last night left such an indelible impression on my psyche, that when I set pencil to paper today all that would come out were still images from my manic memories. Flashes of face paint festooned rockers, costume clad musicians, and a giant foam squid diving face first into bowling pins. What could possibly be the nucleus of such insanity? Why, The Protomen, of course.
I was one of the fortunate many attending the Halloween festivities at Exit/In in Nashville. Accompanied by fellow Nerd Housers Chuck, Andy, and Josh, I hit the doors a little past 8. After a brief wait (during which “Time Warp” was played no less than three times) the stage lit up on the opening act, MC Frontalot.
Frontalot (or as he was known in costume, “Frontalot With a Mustache”) is a self-proclaimed Nerdcore Hip Hop performer, and he performs it quite well. With solid beats from his band, fast-paced and sharply-honed lyrics, and solid comic patter between songs, he did an amazing job of whipping a bunch of slightly chilled slack-jawed partiers into a frothing crowd of cheering fans.
Which left us primed and ready for the main event, The Protomen!
I’ve been fortunate enough to catch them live before, but time must have dulled my recollection of their grandeur, as I found myself woefully unprepared for how much they would rock me. They gave one of the most entertaining and creatively planned stage shows I’ve ever seen, with elaborate props, personalized glittering make up, and well conceived characters that they never fell out of, even whilst reapplying an errant mustache.
If I ever actually need to start an underground youth-based revolution, I will be sure to recruit them for rousing the rabble.
By the time The Protomen left the stage, it was late into the night, and we were feeling quite weary. With an hour drive back to Cookeville ahead of us, we very nearly decided to leave before the final act. To do so would have been sheer folly. For then, we would never have known the squealing madness that is Peelander-Z.
I feel like their performance was designed in a fashion absolutely impossible to describe to anyone who Was Not There. To hit the high points, there were vivid monochromatic costumes (festooned with glittering rhinestones and faux fur), sing-a-long songs with giant crowd-prompting signs, and even a number where the entire band is actually replaced at their instruments by members of the audience, who continue to play on. Add to that several elaborate musical skits with humongous foam creatures, and you essentially have Yo Gabba Gabba for adults. And I mean that in the best of all possible ways. By the time they had finished, we had completely forgotten any thought of sleep, as we piled into the truck with our minds buzzing and our ears ringing.
Not only were the bands great, but there were also quite a few enjoyable costumes.
The gentleman with the larger-than-life Beaker head was easily Best In Show. Sad Gallagher was one of my personal delights, whilst the Giant Cardboard Head Lego Men were solid crowd favorites. And though quite a bit more subtle, I give a tip of my hat to the Thirsty Sims Girl. Clever.
I can only hope this becomes an annual Halloween tradition.