I’m of two minds of set times being posted. First, and probably more unique to myself and a few others, having set times posted can help me figure out on busy nights like tonight a plan of attack to hit the music I want to see. However, I’m on the other mind where I’ve been at a show early with an amazing local band, and no one is there. This happens more often than I like to see, and if there is only a start time you get a couple more people in the room. Regardless, the Trunk Space had no issue with a solid amount of people there as Genre opened up for the Playboy Manbaby album release show.
Genre with their indie punk rock sound are quite appropriate to open up a night like this. First, their name is appropriate in how it probably makes a few brains break who are sticklers for specifics. Though for those sticklers, I’ll say these guys are closer to the Nerf Herders and Jeff Rosenstocks of the world. It is great too, from the lyrics to the sound. There is such humor and creativity to their lyrics. Plus there is some rocking moments to the tracks, so yes, I reaffirm they are punk. Continuing a theme found on this site, I’ve got to squeeze Genre into my show going more.
Right after them was a treat, Andy Warpigs with a band behind him. Perhaps it was the occasion, as he made references to the auditorium this show was in being held in to that in Back to the Future. Nevertheless, it put some more energy and harmonica into his tracks that I rarely see. It may have been over a year the last time I saw Andy perform with more than a duo. His humor and wit that I love was still there, and time restraints made for the fastest performance I’ve seen of “STFU.”
Up after them was the all-female band, the Darts. This marks the third time catching them, and second time with Ricki behind the drums. What was awesome about this set was how much the crowd got into it, opening up the pit for the first time in the times I’ve seen The Darts. Their energy was contagious on this crowd. The Darts’ set was another affected by time constraints, but they squeezed two more songs in including the one I can’t help but be entertained listening to. The one about who needs boys when you got batteries. Every time I see them, I enjoy every minute of it.
Following them was a band I didn’t get to catch while they were active, the Thin Bloods. These guys are great, and I understand now the fever around seeing them one more time. It’s almost like an indie rock band with some grunge influences going on here. Their set was the first that got me crushed up to and into the stage. The enthusiasm for them was clear. It’s a shame I won’t see the Thin Bloods perform more after this night.
Then came one of the coolest approaches to a set by a band, and that band’s name was Playboy Manbaby. They setup makeshift curtains, which weren’t always successful at staying up, but it did the job needed. They projected video onto two circles above them, along with a background that was setup for a change. Before that change happened, we got a frozen Playboy Manbaby, a mostly successful closed curtain, and “Intermission” projected onto it. Then, a change in outfits, backdrop to the art we know from the new album, and colorful balloons tossed out the rest of it. Then there were cardboard humanlike figures carried across the crowd on sticks, dancing through. This is super inventive, and one of the most unique things I’ve seen a band do for their stage performance.
That’s not to mention the set itself was just a bunch of fun. A song or two in, I decided to leave the crushing front, get some pictures, then I just join the fun. I bounced around and moshed around in what was part circle and part just energy in a forward motion. The other fantastic thing about a Playboy Manbaby show is the audience they bring. They are full of enthusiasm, singing along, and just having fun. It’s one of the best environments I have found myself in for any music.
The set itself was them playing the entire album, plus two additional including their encore. Having listened through the new album a couple times, and heard a few of them live over the last couple months I will give my quick take here. The album is supurb, touching on political themes to normal human behavior and the psyche with a fun, twisted takes. Great catchy lyrics found with songs like “Last One Standing.” I am super curious how they come up with these song titles too, such as “Don Knotts In a Wind Tunnel.” Back to the set, the exclamation mark at the end was the encore being a favorite of mine, “Falafel Pantyhose.” I had a ton of fun at the Trunk Space and Playboy Manbaby still sits atop my favorites to catch in Phoenix.
Of course, my night didn’t end there because there were some favorites from out of town were playing over at the Yucca Tap Room. The Bombpops and Murderland were in town, and unfortunately I missed Murderland. Nonetheless, I was able to catch the entire Bombpops set. I rode the energy from the Playboy Manbaby show into that. Other than the super excited dude in the crowd, it seemed like my energy was more than most had. Despite that, we successfully had a pit for most their set while I sang along some of the lyrics I’ve learned over the time listening to them the past, about, two years.
The Bombpops are on tour celebrating their new album release and being the latest addition to the Fat Wreck family. Another album of great songs from them and this one includes a great one written by Brandon Carlisle, of Teenage Bottlerocket, that they performed live during the set. Catching them could actually be described as a second exclamation mark on my night. Ended up chatting with them and some of Murderland after, getting a penis drawn on my signed setlist by Poli, and just happy I was able to make it to see them tonight too.