I went to the Bluebird last night expecting to be granted heavy doses of sweet diverse electro dance music, and I got exactly what I was looking for. From start to finish, the entire concert last night offered a good variety of danceable songs that kept me grooving but never so much that it became overwhelming. At the same time, all three styles presented were different enough that it really was like experiencing the evening in three distinct chapters, rather than having all the music run together. The pace and style of all three performers last night was just the mid-tempo musical experience I was looking for.


The night started off with an interesting opening performance from Alexico, an artist from Monterrey, Mexico. He had a fun personality and sense of humor that he was not afraid to share. The moment he stepped on stage, the first thing he said to set the mood was, "Can we make the lights red, like in a soft porno movie?" The house complied and Alexico was bathed in warm red light to start his set. He hit play on his MIDI sequencer and started off with my favorite of his songs, "Gordo Grande Y Marica". It was still early but there was already a sizable albeit spread out crowd at the Bluebird, and I'm not so sure the crowd knew what to make of what they just heard.

Knowing his duty was to rile up the crowd as an opener, Alexico called people to the front of stage and humorously remarked that he needed people there because he'd like to do some crowd surfing. He then continued onward with his set of unique experimental beats - strange to listen to but lovable because of their quirkiness. I was expecting Alexico to sing over a drum machine, but he also played keyboard and electric guitar, which added to the experience.

Alexico on the guitar

Alexico was entertaining but his set wasn't flawless - he had to deal with a few issues. He went to pick up his electric guitar as the beat to "Cadaver Fresco" began, but as he tried to play it nothing would happen. It turned out the amplifier was still turned off, so he had to set down his guitar, rush to the rear of the stage, hit the on switch, and put his guitar back on. He just barely managed to finish doing that just as he reached his cue to sing. But that wasn't all, his microphone stand wasn't tightened enough and the mic would slowly droop while Alexico would sing. When he was playing guitar, that would pose a problem, as he'd have to continue to lower his head to sing into the microphone, and sometimes the microphone would completely drop out of range and you couldn't hear him sing until he had a chance to raise the microphone back up. I suppose that wasn't too bad, since I could not understand what he was saying anyway, but I wish I did because I bet his lyrics were hilarious.

Alexico eventually got the crowd into it

Amazingly, the crowd was very receptive to Alexico even with the problems he had. I think it may have even helped him warm up to the audience more, because the way he dealt with the problems lightheartedly fit perfectly with the circus-funk party beats he had going on. By the end of his set, he had much of the audience jumping up and down and waving their hands in the air. He even had enough people up front to take a dive off the stage after his last song. His music might be a little too abstract/carnival for some, but I liked that it was very different from anything else I've heard out there.

Beat Connection's live drummer

Next up was Beat Connection, and after previewing their music, I was pretty excited to see these guys. The first thing I noticed was the addition of a live drummer. Usually, I like the idea of incorporating a live drummer over the use of a drum machine, but to me, I wasn't so sure it kept the same charm that drew me to their recorded songs. They started to play and the way the drums sounded kind of took away that "tropical psychedelic" feel that Beat Connection goes for and is strongly present in their recordings. They also modified the way they performed most of their songs, and it came off more like what many electronic jam bands do and less like the chillwave feel that drew me to their music. The other thing I noticed was that all featured vocals in the songs were pre-recorded. I really like the songs "Silver Screen" and "In the Water" but it was strange hearing the vocals of the songs but not seeing anyone in the band actually singing them.

Beat Connection

Aside from those issues, Beat Connection still had a good, engaging performance. The live drumming may have taken away the chillwave feel that I personally like, but it gave the band a more danceable presence that the crowd seemed to really enjoy, as most of the audience danced wildly to each song. I liked how they not only used computer control surfaces, but included drummable sample pads, making a more organic presentation of their music as you could see them fire off each sample manually rather than it being pre-programmed. Overall they performed well, just a little different from what I expected to see going into the concert. Perhaps if I had no notion of their sound before seeing the show, I might not have had those complaints. They did have great energy and the crowd really seemed to enjoy their set.


Finally it was time for STRFKR (Starfucker), and I was glad to finally catch these guys live because I'd been listening to their music for a few years and missed the other opportunities I could have seen them earlier this year. The five members of the band came out on stage and took their respective places. The first thing I noticed was the sweet throwback Super Bowl XXII Denver Broncos shirt Ian Luxton was wearing - nice touch. Besides drummer Keil Corcoran, each other member of the band took their place behind a keyboard/synthesizer while also each yielding guitars - three electric guitars and one electric bass. It blew my mind that they produced such electronic sounding dance pop sounds with these analog tools.

Patrick Morris of STRFKR

STRFKR got the party started with one of my favorites off their first album, "German Love", instantly stirring up the now massive crowd. As the music began, the lights went dim while red and green laser lights emitted from the rear corners of the stage, illuminating the whole venue with rays of light and painting spotted color on the ceiling, walls and crowd like dancing fireflies. They continued with a song that they put together with Champagne Champagne, a super chill dance song called "Dragon Queens".


They kept mixing it up, switching between their two albums, the self-titled Starfucker and newly released Reptilians. The played my favorites off the new album in their main set; the new wave styled "Bury Us Alive", the chillwave-esque "Julius", and the spacey "Mona Vegas". Of course, everyone in the venue went wild when they played their signature song "Rawnald Gregory Erickson The Second", and it was so refreshing to finally hear it live among a crowd of people passionately dancing - the way it was intended to be heard. I wish they transitioned into "U Ba Khin" afterwards like on their first album, but I suppose I missed my chance to hear that given they probably played it that way on previous tours. They also threw in "Boy Toy" from their B-Sides EP and their awesome cover of Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".


They performed about twenty songs, and each one kept the crowd dancing hard and continually sweaty. When they reached the end the crowd went nowhere, calling for the band to come back and do some more. After a short respite, STRFKR complied and delivered an awesome encore that included the slow grooving song "The White of Noon". STRFKR did an incredible job keeping the crowd into their set the entire night, and their stage presence and production was very entertaining. They drew in a very diverse crowd that all seemed to share the common goal of getting down to some great dance music. I know as a long time fan, I finally got the live experience I was craving to see with this band and would not hesitate to see them again. I can't wait for whatever musical goodness they have in the future.

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One Response so far.

  1. Thanks for the write-up. At the Starfucker show at Neumos right now, with Alexico opening.

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