The two bands, along with the Florida-based Bastard Lovechild of Rock and Roll (aka Le Blorr), packed the kids in at an all ages show at Orlando’s BackBooth. Le Blorr proved to me that today’s young bands, more than ever, are filtering through 70s rock into grotesque hybrid monstrosities with 80s influences. Le Blorr particularly show potential for growth. They need more than just two guys on stage alternating between a keyboard, guitar and drums. The songs meandered in a nice, indulgent love of deep-rooted rock, though it was hard to find hooks in the music. All told, the music certainly comes from the right place.
After Le Blorr cleared their gear, six young men from Norway crowded onto the stage. It was an amazing array of percussion and electronics and a practical miracle these guys sounded as decent as they did in a small, echoing bar. Beyond the technical quality of the sound, Casiokids tore it up on stage and had the audience bouncing off the walls in no time.
Throughout Casiokids’ short set, the grooves were intense and infectious. I had interviewed singer and main songwriter Ketil Kinden Endresen before the show. We spoke a lot about his affection for African music, from King Sunny Adé to Fela Kuti, but also bonded over Krautrock from Kraftwerk to Can. He certainly knows the ins and outs of some of the greatest and varied groovesters on record. It was no surprise that these six flowed and locked so well. It brought me back to the magic concert I saw when LCD Soundsystem took the stage last year in Miami Beach and threw a thousand people into frenzy.
I was amazed at the amount of gear on stage. I think I even saw an audience member join in on tambourine. At one point, guitarist Fredrik Ogreid Vogsborg took the mic offstage with him and entered into the crowd to sing and dance along with some of the befuddled mass.
Though often hyped for a theatrical stage show with shadow puppets, those sort of events were only occasional collaborations with a theater troupe. Though I can appreciate an exciting stage show, these guys proved they are much more than a gimmicky theatrical band. They know how to rock.
Here are the second and fourth songs of their set that night:
It was a short wait for Starfucker to come on stage. They set up their own gear— as did all the other bands of the night— and sound-checked the gear themselves. They did some magic and worked out some kinks for a pretty clean, sonic performance. The five-piece Starfucker were also a sight to behold, as a quintet crowded up on the small stage. For $12 at the door, the volume of the quality of musicians this night alone far exceeded many shows I have seen with ticket prices over $60.
Starfucker’s set spanned across the band’s three albums with lots of respect for the popular titles, even if they did not play my personal favorite “Holly.” After the show, they told me they felt the song felt too mellow for how things were going on stage (besides the fact they do not play the song much), and the vibe was right and full of energy indeed.
I was a bit surprised to see that the crux of the energy came from guitarist / turntablist / keyboardist Ryan Biornstad. He played a jittery electric guitar and often turned to scratch on an old Steve Martin record on the deck behind him. His face decorated with what appeared to be red lipstick, which found most its way under his eyes, he knew how to draw the audience in. During the final number, he tested the crowd by leaning off stage. The audience was always there to catch him and prop him back up until he dove in to take off crowd surfing.
By contrast, the low-key songwriter Josh Hodges almost looked like he was sitting on stage. At the start of the show, he ordered the spotlights be dimmed as a swirl of green and red laser lights created a Christmas color-coded interstellar space field over the proceedings. It was a festive, trippy show by a group of musicians delighting in exploring an array of musical angels within a psychedelic/dance rock vibe.
Unfortunately, I only captured most of one song by Starfucker before my camera’s batteries died (I’ve got to learn to carry spares). I close this post with that one song:
Finally, here is the rest of Starfucker’s US tour dates before they head to the UK and Europe:
Mar 29* Raleigh @ Local 506
Mar 30* Washington DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Mar 31* Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda’s
Apr 2* New York City @ The Bowery Ballroom
Apr 5 Boston @ Brighton Music Hall
Apr 8 South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
Apr 9 Rochester @ Bug Jar
Apr 10 Cleveland @ The Grog Shop
Apr 11 Columbus @ Skully’s Music Diner
Apr 12 Chicago @ Lincoln Hall
Apr 13 Minneapolis @ Triple Rock Social Club
Apr 14 Minneapolis @ Triple Rock Social Club
Apr 15 Sioux Falls, SD @ Sioux Falls Orpheum Theater
Apr 16 Omaha @ The Waiting Room
Apr 17 Denver @ The Bluebird Theater
Apr 19 Salt Lake City @ Urban Lounge
Apr 20 Boise, ID @ Neurolux
Apr 22 Vancouver, Canada @ Biltmore Cabaret
Apr 23 Seattle @ Vera Project
Apr 26 Seattle @ Crocodile Cafe
Apr 28 Portland @ Holocene
Apr 29 Portland @ Doug Fir Lounge
Apr 30 Portland @ Mississippi Studios
Apr 30 Portland @ Mississippi Studios
As I stated at the top of this post, much more is coming…