Astronautalis at SPACE Gallery, March 3

Music seen
By AMANDA PLEAU  |  March 9, 2011

Astronautalis's latest show at SPACE Gallery in Portland was a serious love fest — possibly even more than usual because Astronautalis tapped some local talent for his touring band. The crowd was teeming with excitement and eagerly sang along. He couldn't help but flash a giant smile the entire night. He told jokes, professed his love for the ladies of Hot Suppa, and put on a captivating performance.

He first took the stage in a very dapper white button-down shirt tucked into jeans, supported by black suspenders. The suspenders suggested we were about to hear two hours of either light lounge music or '60s punk rock. Instead, he opened with a rowdy, rocking number. He channelled his inner Tom Waits with the intensity of a preacher executing an exorcism.

Midway through the the night, after a deep album cut about a house in Portland he used to love staying at, he unbuttoned his shirt to reveal the true nature of himself as an artist: bling.

Addressing men as "sir," he took freestyle prompts from the crowd. He was given Charlie Sheen, Bubba's Sulky Lounge, Egypt, hypochondria, and MacGyver's cousin — and did an outstanding job. He even told a story about seeing Hot Shots! Part Deux on his first date, as a 12-year-old.

Astronautalis himself claimed that the shows he had been doing with just a live band were getting stale. Judging by the incredible amount of energy at this show and the huge high-fives he gave the band at the end, he might never go back.

Related: New EPs, Arborea kickstarts for an album, and Spose's song-a-week, 48 Hour Music Festival at SPACE Gallery, February 19, Playing Trial & Error by the Bonfire, More more >
  Topics: New England Music News , Music, Tom Waits, Tom Waits,  More more >
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