Zombie Politics

I drank your milkshake.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Gnarls Barkley "Secret Show" @ Nokia Theatre

Tonight Gnarls Barkley played a “secret show” at the Nokia Theatre in Times Square. Actually, it wasn’t Gnarls Barkley. Instead, it was Daniel-san, a band that looked alarmingly like Gnarls Barkley’s big-ass’d touring line-up, dressed in white and red karate get-ups (if asked, they’d probably state they were “kung-fu masters” or “obident masters of time, space, and kudu” or something.) They also insisted they were just here to “play some Gnarls Barkley covers.” It was really very cute.

Before they took the stage they had a special guest announcer in none other than David “Please Don’t Bring Up Labyrinth” Bowie. He’s still the coolest motherfucker on the planet even if he is old enough to remember the invention of the steam engine, and he sauntered onstage tonight in a stunning all-black ensemble (black suit, tie, shirt) like he owned the place. Ever little indie emo punk in the audience, hair perfectly mussed, in their fitted blazers must have silently wept to themselves. He out-hipped them all.

Bowie just said something about them being one of his favorite bands (or something – maybe he was talking about the Arcade Fire) and quietly left the stage.

Then Gnarls came out. Or Daniel-san. Whichever. (They confessed their alternate name choice was either that or Kung Fu Hustle.) Actually they didn’t come out. I think the curtain just parted and they were all on stage. It was a massive line-up, with a string section and backup dancers and keyboardists and guitarists and a drummer. Like I said: Massive.

About the Venue: The Nokia Theatre was hardly filled to capacity, with maybe a hundred + people in the front part of the complex (the seated area was all blocked off). Also, it seemed that the barricade that’s comes off the stage was scaled back. The last time I was at the Nokia Theatre was for the Goldfrapp show last December and there seemed to be an impenetrable gulf between the audience and the stage; it didn’t feel like that tonight. It all added up to a much better feeling and contributed to the sunshine-y vibe of the whole affair.

The set was a quick, punchy jaunt through the hits (re: the whole fucking album) and a couple of covers. Cee-Lo warmly engaged the crowd, dropping pop culture reference after pop culture reference. Which got me thinking (never a good idea). This is, after all, a band forced from the molten lava of a thousand aspects of popular culture, and one that quickly solidified its place in the landscape it so admired and revered. It was really something to behold and quite impressive. Cee-Lo and co-conspirator Danger Mouse whipped the crowd into a dancing, stomping, feel-good frenzy, rarely pausing long enough for us to admire the G-Strings (their comely all-girls string section). With bright splashes of color and an infectively joyous attitude, they had the intimate crowd held in rapturous attention – and for just over an hour! There isn’t a whole lot more else to say. It was, in a word, like the embodiment of the whole Gnarls Barkley project, plain and simple FUN.

Zombie Politics had its professional photographer along. Pictures were snapped. They follow.

Big Thanks to Brooklyn Vegan for the head's up!


Blogger Florida Perrywinkle, The Media Wave Collective said...

take fooreeever
geez. talk about long winded! do you ever shut up? it's like you think everyone is interested in every little thought you have about this show!
take a page from Brooklyn Vegan's web-log and post mostly pictures with a couple clever sentences.

your friend


10:28 AM  

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