Friday night, March 13, 2009, was an event, for the local music scene, not to be missed. It was Ben McShane's (Mouse - Classical Geek Theatre) birthday party at Pehrspace and the turnout was fantastic. The lineup was the New York band, The Besties, local legend, music/mischief makers, Manhttan Murder Mystery, and more magnificent mayhem from Mouse favorites, Mae Shi.
Arriving around 10, I couldn't even get inside to see The Besties because I was waylayed by the delightful crowd outside, where I ran into Elaine Layabout, Matther Teardrop, Ian, Katya, my new boss, Joe Fielder, and many others.
As the crowd filed out after the first set, I got inside, after demonstrating my super-human strength for Elaine by ripping the entire top off a bottle of Corona with a bottle opener. I scared myself.
It was great to see Mouse, back from cross country touring with The Henry Clay People, and wish him 'happy birthday' and see the phenomenal Classical Geek Theatre cake baked by chef extraordinaire, Cindy Nguyen. It tasted as good as it looked.
As Manhattan Murder Mystery took the stage, the crowd packed in to witness the spectacle, as Matthew flung himself around the room, with the audience acting as the ropes surrounding a boxing ring, attempting to keep him upright. Foolish effort.
How they manage to keep their music together in midst of such a fracas always impresses me. They combine the visceral force and fury of a punk concert with the solid musical discipline of a band as tight as The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra. I know, I know... how can you compare Manhattan Murder Mystery with The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra?
When Mae Shi began, the room was at capacity and this band, who were itching for a local show after the rigors of touring and playing for strangers, gave a performance that blossomed into a full-bore explosion of cathartic release. I stood up on a chair at the back, at one point, just to get the view down onto the writhing mass that resembled the movie, The Snake Pit.
When they pulled out their orange parachute, which spread out over the crowd and began undulating over the teaming mass of humanity beneath, I was reminded of the final scene in Bertolucci's epic, 1900, when the farmers all dance under the giant red flag. I leaned over to the person next to me and whispered, "Are we all communists now?"
No, but we were all Mae She-ites. This is one of the, if not THE most fun band in town. No one wanted to leave after that and most of us stuck around till the wee hours. Happy Birthday, indeed, Mouse!