P7200056.jpg

photo by Keegan Hamilton

!!!
Venue:
Neumo's
Date: May 3, 2007
Would Meatface approve?: Depends if he has sweat glands.
And the hipsters?: They spent



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Last Night: !!! at Neumo's

Did you feel it intensify?

P7200056.jpg

photo by Keegan Hamilton

!!!
Venue:
Neumo's
Date: May 3, 2007
Would Meatface approve?: Depends if he has sweat glands.
And the hipsters?: They spent the whole night debating if it was better than LCD Soundsystem

"Can you feel it intensify?!?!" was the closing refrain shouted by the sweaty mass. The question was no doubt rhetorical because anyone within a one block radius of !!! and Neumo’s last night simply had to feel the relentless intensity.

Led by an Elvis-hipped, curly-haired Nic Offer, who strutted around the stage like the spawn of Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop, shouting into the faces of those rocking the front row and busting moves that haven’t been aired in public since Saturday Night Fever owned the box office, the Sacramento dance punk orchestra hammered out songs that climbed to crescendo both individually and as a collection.

Further amping the affair was the trio of rotating singers, filling in for Offer at various points and always attempting to up the energy of the previous mic holder. Percussionist John Pugh took the helm, discarding his shoes and socks in the process, and did his best to top the charismatic frontman, winding cords around his neck and bellowing primal screams as the songs peaked. He was later joined by a mystery guest, an MC Hammer-t-shirted back up singer who provided any soul and grind power the show might have lacked.  When all three singers united for “Heart of Hearts,” the audience was transformed into a shaking, shifting, dancing being of its own.

Sonically, ruthless tribal percussion drove the show, with no fewer than two bodies manning the kits at any time. Guitarist Mario Andreoni provided intricate, delicately plucked bridges and an occasional driving solo, while the bass was a thumping post-funk rhythm. Trumpet and tenor sax made spirited appearances. 

Despite the crowd imploring “Storm the Legion,” from the band’s self-titled debut, Offer and Co. signaled that “Intensify,” would be the last, exiting the stage without returning for an encore, leaving the sweat-drenched mass to discuss whether what they had just witnessed could have even been topped.

 

Reporter's Notebook

Personal Bias: Any show is better from the front row with a 22 oz Red Stripe in hand
Opener: The Flying Objects, very danceable group, anchored by a booming bari-sax and a funky rhythm section
First time I saw the band: You just read about it.
For More !!!: Check out Nate Patrin's review of the band's set in Minneapolis. 

 
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