Friday, July 15, 2011
Over the weekend, I went to a cool little show at Exit In. Ballhog was opening for Mucca Pazza, along with The Paperheads. Ballhog put on a strong set, and The Paperheads won over tonight's crowd with their "Doors meets Syd Barrett" approach to psychedelic beach indie. I heard someone observe, "not one of them is as old as the gear they're using." He was right, and it was a good thing. The clanky Silvertone and the little electric organ gave them a fun 60s sound. It did seem that although both were good, it was kind of an odd hodge podge of a musical night, but I guess that's what Mucca Pazza is all about.
First off, Mucca Pazza is a 30 piece punk rock marching band, complete with drumline, brass, woods, accordian, violin, a sousaphone, and an electric guitar. The stringed instruments even had megaphones duct taped to their hats, into which their guitars were plugged while they marched around the club. They also had a few cheerleaders who did actual cheers that were hilarious. One was "Your Name's A Verb". You know, Rob, or Lance, or Pat, it was pretty funny.
So they all marched across the stage and down into the crowd to start the show. When everyone had gotten into the audience, they burst into a song, full on marching band style, right there next to everyone. They were really into getting in peoples' personal space, but it was like a circus atmosphere anyway so it was fun. After a while they all got back onstage and played for a while. They played some funky stuff and some rockin stuff and really made it all work really well. Some sections would hang back while others would shine, and the show was full of dance routines and all kinds of moves from each polyester clad marcher. The energy in this show was contagious. Every member seemed like one of the cool band kids that was older, but still had that weird band thing going on. They were very dramatic and animated, and it made for a wild scene because a lot of the audience members were dressed up in marching garb and having a band kid party on the floor.
They ended the show, and all marched offstage, only to march back across and down into the crowd for an encore. I remember it starting out soft and pretty, and ending furiously. This group from Chicago really put on a cool show, definitely not something you see all the time, but really a good idea.