Electric Warriors Glamstravaganza at Great Scott, Decemebr 8, 2007
Billing a show as a “Glamstravaganza” sets up some specific expectations: glitter, light shows, epic anthems, stylish sleaze, full-length knitted body stockings, more glitter. David Bowie was evoked more than once as the patron saint of Saturday’s affair at Great Scott — not least by the exuberant MC, Micah Cooper, a brawny tranny who buoyed the night with nostalgic tales from the acid-steeped trenches of the 1970s. But the icon may have been disappointed to see so little swagger or overwrought bravado. (I did, however, encounter Logan 5 & the Runners guitarist Nick Balkin, who had organized the gig, working the crowd and admitting to donning mascara for the first time.)
Sidewalk Driver set the tone well enough, with strutting frontman Tad McKitterick in a shimmery ensemble that included a lavish silk kimono. Their rowdy but earnest songs were anchored by a crunching rhythm; you got the idea that, in a bigger quarters, they might be able to incite a semblance of a ballroom blitz. Here, however, the MO was one of restraint. MeandJoanCollins stepped up next, and former Collisions leader Bo Barranger, in a brocaded smoking jacket, was typically dynamic. But glam? Not quite. MeandJoanCollins draw from Britpop, especially bands with garage-rock roots, and though much glitter rock is arguably Britpop, not all Britpop is glam. Glam should flog us with theatricality — decadent melodrama — and songs that offer futuristic fantasies (Life on Mars, anyone?), not laments set to catchy pop hooks. Logan 5 and the Runners’ David Berndt did nail a blasé melodrama, channeling Andy Warhol–esque androgyny. Their electronic grandeur would translate well to a concert hall. Ad Frank closed the night proclaiming, “Someone get me another one of those glamtinis, I feel glammarific!” Then he launched into a set with the Fast Easy Women that was spectacular but no spectacle, proving once and for all that glam is a state of mind.
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