SHOW REVIEW: Unspeakable Acts at the Werehouse
Regardless of who you are and what you’ve experienced at a local Triad show, I doubt that anything can measure up to prepare you for what really went down at the Werehouse (myspace.com/werehouse) last week. The venue/coffee spot, also known as Krankies (krankiescoffee.com) was taken over. Luckily, the inside of the venue half of the building was bare enough, to prevent further destruction of anything else that could have been in the path of an unforgettable performance. The show that evening, was headlined by Matt and Kim (mattandkimmusic.com), but I think the attention of everyone there made it difficult for the duo to top the performance before them.
The evening started with a skinny, squirrely, dark-haired boy with thick-rimmed glasses and enough movement to make yourself tired just watching him. He was a nice change of pace to add to the night, a comedian. But there were no jokes to be had. His emotional interpretive performance was hilarious, but it was all done with his facial expressions, sounds from his mouth and throat, and physical exertion (falling into splits, crying, screaming, spitting up water, losing the mic down his pants and out the bottom cuff, and starting karate fights with audience members walking by the stage-area). This mime-like routine isn’t part of his norm though; 28-year-old LA comedian Josh Fadem (myspace.com/joshfadem) uses improvisation most nights of the tour, some nights story-telling, some nights picking on the crowd, some nights just talking and making conversation with people while being funny, and some nights when he has a little extra energy, he explodes on stage with action so much to the point that he has nothing to say. The crowd, which for most of the night, kept at a steady in-and-out count of about sixty or so attendees, stared at him with intense confusion for the first few minutes, and after a while, synced into the act and everyone was holding their stomachs. After the show we sit down and he is gobbling up an organic dark chocolate bar the barista gave him, “It’s hard to compete with live music and rock and rollers, especially for me, with the crazy artists I’m on tour with. I have to change it up every night, you never know who is going to be at tomorrow night’s show-bands have it good, they already know the songs they’re playing, fans expect it-but comedy is fluid, everything has to be funny, new, and constant.”
I didn’t really know to what degree he could have possibly meant by “especially with the people I’m on tour with.” I know friends that couldn’t make it to the show that were bummed about missing Monotonix (monotonix.com), and I had listened to some of their heavy thrash rock music earlier in the week, but I didn’t really understand what all the hype was for. Then, they took “stage.” The stage at the Wherehouse, is the floor, in an area with everything set up in front of the audience area. The band is from Tel Aviv, Israel, and joined Death Set (myspace.com/thedeathset) and Matt and Kim for this tour, properly named The F Yeah Fest! They walked and grabbed instruments (one drummer, one guitarist, one vocalist), and then climbed into recycle-only trash cans (full of trash) and started to play. Yelling lyrics, and taping up and gagging the drummer could be the only two crazy things that happened if you left before the middle of their first song. As I am sitting off to the side, the singer, in nothing but cut-off jeans, and long-snarly gray hair and beard, runs and jumps at the small round table I’m stationed at with a few others and kicks off my mocha and it goes flying. He rocks (musically and literally) on the table back and forth and jumps off into a girls lap, giving her a pelvic thrust to face and runs off to the mic stand.
Oh, sorry, you thought that changing the paragraph meant that it stopped there and I was on to the next performance? Not before he decides that it’d be a great idea to pull his pants down to his ankles, and stick the microphone – well, I don’t even know if I can put that in here. Some people were laughing hysterically, some people were gagging, and some of us luckily were out of view of the show, so we just gasped in horror and watched others’ reactions. The band grabbed their instruments and like a train motioned for everyone to follow in a beeline into a small side room connecting the outside to the venue (usually where bands keep instruments while loading and unloading). So at least half of the audience crams into this small space and more than half were handed drumsticks to beat on the percussion pieces brought in. The front man grabs beers and pours them on kids, crowd surfs in the few feet of space, smashing his head into the cement wall, falls over, and then motions for everyone to follow the adventure outside. Everyone still brave enough to follow, or not outraged and offended enough to continue viewing the show, continues out into the lot behind the building, where the members randomly pick a truck (so glad I didn’t park in this lot), and throw their instruments onto the bed, place cones on their head, and begin placing on vehicles. Kids cheer, some boo, some laugh, some walk away, shake fists, and like myself, some are so shocked and confused they don’t even know how to react.
I don’t know how Matt and Kim manage to follow their set every night, hoping that people stay through it for theirs. But seeing them following such a ridiculous ordeal, made them seem almost boring. They played a great pop-rock show, what a shift in music. The audience loudly sang along hits like “Yea Yeah,” “No More Long Years” and “Silver Tiles,” and they closed the show with comfort and relief in live music.
Don’t worry, more Monotonix pictures, and PG-13 rated versions of video clips will be posted on our music site (myspace.com/yesweeklymusic) for you to check out, because I’m sure it’s all mostly hard to picture. If it looks interesting enough, or you want to experience it for yourself, they will be back in North Carolina after their full east coast and Canadian tour on July 29 at Volume 11 (myspace.com/volume11tavern) with Valient Thorr and Early Man.
To comment on this story, email Heather MacIntyre at Heather@yesweekly.com.