Going in to Thee Parkside on Fri/5, I didn’t know what to expect from the show’s openers. Considering Mom’s antics, it’s probably best that I didn’t do any pre-show research. In a nutshell, Mom was a mess.
Mom slithered and writhed around on- and offstage (mostly off). She wore a red dress that ended up beer-soaked, while she sort of sang into a microphone with heavily distorted cartoonish effects. It was like a demonic version of Minnie Mouse (she had the ears and everything). The whole experience was surreal. Maybe nightmarish is a better word. Mom's trashed red dress would slide up over her waist, exposing all of her, since she wore no panties. Her one ruby red slipper slid around the floor while the other foot remained bare and got all gunked up from cement during some staggered dance moves.
If shock value was what Mom was going for…then mission accomplished. Just when I thought the spectacle was winding down, I went to the smoking patio to answer my brother’s phone call. I figured I’d chat him up about my parents’ upcoming visit from the Midwest. Immersed in conversation, I was suddenly interrupted by a sweaty, messy Mom, who accosted me and began to rub herself on me as I laughed and backed away while onlookers got an eyeful. Considering that the 'Loin is now my home base, it didn’t phase me much. I continued talking on the phone, giving my brother the play-by-play. Mom quickly lost interest and stumbled away. I have a feeling real Mom wouldn’t approve.
After the onslaught, I hung out a bit longer on the patio. I was offered some sympathy by a certain unmasked someone who may or may not have been the show’s headliner. He asked if Mom had gotten any blood on me. I replied “No,” adding that I actually had gotten egged. Apparently she threw one at the ceiling and got some yolk and shell on me. Another audience member initially thought it was the sound of breaking glass.
Act two was traditional by comparison, considering it involved drum, bass and guitar. I didn’t think I had seen them before, based on their name, but once I went back inside to check them out I recognized the front man of the Outdoorsmen. They had improved. They did Misfits covers and it was sort of endearing how the lead singer/ guitarist would crack bad jokes into the mike. He mostly cracked himself up. The highlight of their set was a Standells-sounding number dedicated to “cock suckers of the middle of the night”. He was referring to cops.
The outstanding performance of the night came from Indiana’s TV Ghost. The Midwest was represented well here when they took to the stage. Their lanky lead man twitched about with great presence; his guitar in tow and a Dwyer-esque oral fixation with his microphone (inserts into mouth). I guess it sounded like Link Wray meets post-punk, or maybe the Cramps in surf style. In any event it was good to see them again. The first time I witnessed their live act was at the Hemlock, where they played to a nearly empty hall, but they had performed as if they the bar was at capacity or like it was for a televised performance. Such showmanship.
Last but not least, Nobunny seemed to have a stash of new material and it was stage antics and comical-shtick as usual when the costumed “boys and squirrels” played rock and roll that had the crowd eating it up with a spoon. All in all it was a good night -- even if Mom took me by surprise.