Show Review: "It's going to be fuse-blowing"

N2D have had a lot of interesting conversations with border guards when crossing. Several have involved replying to this question: "What band are you seeing tonight?"

The answer on Tue., Apr. 19: "Gobble Gobble and Rich Aucoin." It's a good thing we didn't know about the Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt, and even better that we didn't have to try to describe what we were about to see (and do) because it will be hard enough here. "It's going to be mind-blowing," said S2W. "It's going to be fuse-blowing," said Phog Lounge co-owner Frank Incitti, watching Terror Pigeon piece together a lighting set-up that looked like a high school science project.

While no fuses were blown in the making of this show, the predictable was. After a short prelude of compelling compositions on a Roland 303 by Windsor's (wh)y.m.e.(??) (Murad Erzinclioglu of Windsor Zene and founder of FAM Fest), the evening transitioned from passive listening to full-blown interactive theater, beginning with the Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt of Nashville (yes, that Nashville).

With a lighted plastic snowman as back-up, singer Neil Fridd offered costumes to the audience, donned a rainbow muumuu himself and belted out a set of energetic, quirky pop. At one point a conga line of conjoined audience members wearing blazers strung together by lights snaked through the Phog. The big finale was a big love-in beneath a huge quilt, preschool-style. What else would you expect from a band whose latest album is titled I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU AND I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU! HAVE AN AWESOME DAY! HAVE THE BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE!!

Touring in support of the EP Public Publication, Rich Aucoin (Halifax) puts on a more polished but equally interactive performance of dance-electro pop. Instead of suitcases full of hardware store lighting, Aucoin uses a projection screen and edited videos ranging from the absurd to sing-along lyrics to scenes from  How the Grinch Stole Christmas (which syncs, a la Dark Side of the Moon/the Wizard of Oz, with his previous EP, Personal Publication), as a backdrop. His R3 page notes that his mission is "to create a euphoric communal experience." Using charisma, encouragement, confetti, group chorus and a coloured parachute (and drummer Joel Waddell, doing double duty that night for Aucoin and Terror Pigeon), mission accomplished.

From interactive theater, Gobble Gobble (Edmonton)-- the Frankenstein brainchild of Cecil Frena, with Calvin McElroy, Corin Roddick and Graham Nickle-- took the crowd to a surreal kind of primal-tribal-mystical Roman theater set to experimental, futurist pop. With Frena at the microphone and keyboards/synth and Roddick at the drums, instead bringing the crowd to the show, McElroy and Nickle brought the show to the crowd. Shirtless, in pink tutus, on drywall stilts, they roamed the room, thrusting strange objects out for people to touch, engaging in a mock battle with shovels. Weird and campy performance art? Sure. But make no mistake, the music is brilliant. You can download Gobble Gobble's most recent 7", Wrinklecarver and the full-length Neon Graveyard for free on their Bandcamp page.

Photos: Russ Gordon